Reading is unpopular, but why?


Mia Starkenburg, Assistant Feature Editor

What do you do in your free time? I’m sure it’s either watching TV, playing video games, sports, etc. One thing you more than likely don’t do, is read. 

Over the past three decades, the internet and technology have seen an extremely rapid increase in popularity and advancements. With countless iPhones and Androids being released, we are all addicted to our devices. 

But, with easy access entertainment, what’s happened to the classics. Reading has existed for millions of years, dating back to hieroglyphics. Why is it all of a sudden deemed as boring? 

Caleb Crain from The New Yorker has stats to prove it: “I’ll cut to the chase: between 2003 and 2016, the amount of time that the average American devoted to reading for personal interest on a daily basis dropped from 0.36 hours to 0.29 hours,” he stated in his 2018 article, ‘Why We Don’t Read, Revisited.’

There is a known saying: “The book is always better than the movie.” But some people are starting to disagree. 

Cinema is getting better and more high quality every year. Writers are getting better at translating books into movies/shows, and giving the fan bases what they’re looking for on-screen.

Especially now, with streaming platforms like, Netflix, Disney+, Peacock and more, the access to entertainment is convenient. 

For high school students, reading can just be tedious.

It takes up too much time, and requires a little more effort than watching TV. 

On the other hand, some teens are making the argument that reading should make a come back. 

Freshman, William Belue stated, “It’s calming and some stories are just, I don’t know, awesome.” Reading is a source of relaxation for him, as it is for many others. But for Belue, it’s also a way to discover how others experience the world. 

Belue stated this, “It’s cool to see how people express themselves through literature.”

Clearly, his message is that reading is important in all facets of life.

Belue is actually the secretary of the Teen Leadership Council (TLC) at the Homewood Public Library. He helps TLC decides what teens are looking for when it comes to community events.

The members of the council are the teen voices and advocates for the importance of reading.

Ruby Moxley covers more about TLC in her article on Page 1. 

That small percentage of people interested will keep the flame alive. Reading will ever cease to exist. After all, you’re reading this article. But, the types of things we read, and how we go about it is already drastically changing.     

Newspapers, magazines and more are going strictly digital. 

Really, screens are just taking over and proving to be a duller form of entertainment. Watching TV is just less challenging.

Think about it, how many times have you actually processed what you’re watching on screen?

Reading requires more in-depth analysis and improves your comprehension skills. 

Getting into reading isn’t hard either. Start with something easy. Comic books are a gateway drug to reading. They are the perfect combination of picture and text.

In general, you should get into reading. In whatever way that looks like for you.

I little reading a day will take you a long way.