How Important is Reading to Younger Generations?


Ameera Omar Mohammed Odeh Ahmad, Staff Writer

If you had the option to watch a movie or read the book, which would you choose? In most cases people would rather sit down and relax in front of their T.V. instead of having to open up a book that could take hours or even days to finish when you can easily just see the story in less than two hours. This is usually more applicable to individuals that range from the ages of 11 – 19 because they’re still in school and only read if it’s to conduct research,  but besides that they would rather spend time away from school work as it’s not enjoyable anymore and becomes more stressful and a chore rather than a benefit for them from the educational perspective. A poll that was aimed at Highschool students in GAA confirmed that most students from the ages 15-17 either ‘don’t have enough time’ or ‘only read for school’. Readers can easily infer that school is mandatory especially if you want to get into a good college so a small percentage of research could become the bigger picture of knowledge for many individuals.  

Why Younger Generations?

Younger generations that grew up with more advanced technology are less likely to read because they were introduced to looking at screens from a young age. Even books are becoming digital which isn’t the worst thing in the world because good outcomes have come from  good intentions. One reason why kindle’s or any type of e-reading devices were first produced was to cover up some excuses that people had with reading such as; being able to carry more books around, easy access, easy storage, saving trees and cheaper than paper books. Students now  have easier access to gaining new information either for research, potential growth ,and a wider vocabulary. A GAA student interviewed about this topic  stated that “reading and researching is a big part of expanding one’s knowledge because it increases your vocabulary which could further lead to the ability of speaking, reading and writing more fluently”. An educator from Sam Houston State University states that “research indicates that pleasure reading may have a greater influence on a child’s overall academic performance than their socio-economic background”. Research from professionals, experts and even the individuals involved in the situation all agree upon the same thing, but one thing that is stopping everyone is the lack of motivation. 

Impact of Conformity 

Linking to this problem being very drastic especially for younger people is that they tend to look at society as a role model. Feeling accepted is a feeling everyone goes through and standing out from the crowd is usually seen as an un-normal thing. A student at GAA was interviewed and stated that to “ promote it on everyday used sites like social media where large numbers of younger people are on daily. It could also be turned into a trend as people start to conform into society and will follow along with what others do.” When one person of ‘high status’ such as a celebrity does something others will follow and turn that into a trend. A trend is a specific direction something is being driven towards and in this case is followed by many people. As stated, people have a lack of motivation however, if a celebrity recommended a book or there was a photo taken of them with a book, the sales for that reading material would increase because of who’s got it. Advertising things that will make people buy it could also give them the motivation to actually read it.

Reading and Mental Health 

Reading can be used as a distraction, many people have their own way of coping to escape the reality of their lives for a bit. Whether that’s watching a movie, going on your phone or even reading. Reading gives us a place to go without physically leaving where we are, it can give us a break from our surroundings and could be used to relieve stress. According to the University of Sussex says that “reading can reduce stress up to 68%” and has been seen as one of the best ways to help put our bodies into relaxation mode.  

Reading is part of our everyday way of living whether you do it because it’s your passion, going to  a store or even getting directions. There are many negative and positive outcomes behind the page that you don’t see. However, if you look closer, reading is a form of expanding our knowledge, vocabulary, cultural perspective, advertising, and research or to just have a good read.