Teens Reading For Pleasure Declines


Ella Bowman, Online Editor

How long has it been since you read a book that you weren’t required to read? According to many students at our school, reading for pleasure is less common than it used to be.

Many students’ hours in the day are filled with studies, sports and smartphones. With all of these distractions filling up our time, reading for pleasure has shifted down the many lists of priorities for our generation.

“I just have gotten busier and reading isn’t as fun to me anymore,” freshman Matthew Howard said.

Howard isn’t alone. Many students feel they just don’t have time to read books that aren’t required.

However, others, like junior Ava West, say reading for pleasure can be enjoyable.

“It’s an escape from stress and life,” West said.

Another student, Angel Buck has a similar outlook on the reading world.

“I just find it a good distraction, maybe from everything else going on. You can express yourself a whole lot with writing, which I think is nice.”

Reading for pleasure can also be good for you, according to Abigail Pineau, a nursing student at University of Massachusetts Boston who writes for the school’s official blog. Students who feel that they get to choose what they read benefit most. Also, the more a student reads for pleasure, the more they are likely to enjoy it and want to read more. Finally, students like us can benefit from something called “inner work.” This is when we work to make ourselves better. Reading for pleasure can help us accomplish this. Students don’t get the same satisfaction when we’re forced to read something.

While for some, it is a time to be in a different world and headspace, others like it because it guides them with things going on in their life.

Junior Olivia Dyjewski read a book that benefited her and helped her mindset when going through the day.

“I got it as a gift. I really like the author as a person, and it is about how to live in the moment, and I felt like I needed that in my life.”

Reading, of course, is required in certain classes. In English, many read several books throughout the semester. In history, reading a textbook is very common. For some, The word “reading” now has a negative connotation attached to it.

The idea of reading has lost its true purpose and its thrilling benefits causing some to go a long time without reading for pleasure; for some students it’s even been several years.

One anonymous respondent to our classroom interviews noted that much time has passed since they last read for pleasure.

“I was in 5th grade, so around 10 years old.”

If you like to jumpstart your reading habits again, one popular book right now is The Fault in Our Stars.
Two juniors have both shared their interest in the John Green novel.

One of the juniors, Sydney Harmon said this about the trending book.
“I loved the plot and how up and down the storyline was.”

Research shows that common interest in a book is a great conversation starter. Picking a new book just for yourself can even lead you to new friends.

“I got recommended the book by a student who had similar book taste and I was familiar with the author and loved her work,” freshman Keagan Siegers said.

Junior Camden Harvey sums up perfectly what reading for pleasure can be.

“I like being entertained like I would with a TV show, but I don’t need the internet.”