Society as we know it, slowly dying due to decrease in reading


“You donʼt have to burn books to ruin a society; you just have to get people to stop reading them.” ---Ray Bradbury
Posted Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 12:00am

A few of Ray Bradbury's books, as

well as books writen by other authors, address

the problem of the slow death of society by the

decrease in reading.

In Fahrenheit 451, fi remen burn books,

instead of putting out fi res. In George Orwell's

1984, reading books is not necessarily against

the law, but if you are caught reading the wrong

book, you could get killed. Th ere is a rising

problem in today's society. With the increase

use of cell phones, computers and iPods, people

are not reading as much as they used to. Th ey

don't feel that it is important or necessary to

sit down, relax and read a book. Instead, they

would rather sit on the computer and play video

games, go out with their friends or text.

I know a female who refused to read a book

because if she did, it meant she "did not have

a life." She would not read even if her friends

were not able hang out at the time. For whatever

reason, it was "socially unacceptable" for to her

to read a book.

Jerold Jenkins, from Jenkins Group Inc,

a publishing company, did a survey, which is

found online at Th is survey

shows that one third of high school graduates

will never read another book for the rest of

their lives, 42 percent of college graduates

will never read another book after college, 80

percent of families in the United States did not

buy or read a book last year, 70 percent of U.S.

adults have not been in a bookstore in the last

fi ve years and 57 percent of new books are not

read to completion.

Why are those numbers so drastic and, some

might even say, scary? How come one out of

every three high school graduates will never pick

up another book again? How come families

are not buying and reading books anymore?

Reading is almost like a habit, something that

needs to be picked up when young, from observing

parents or older siblings. If a child is never

read to, they will never learn to love books. If

a child never sees that reading is okay, they will

never know that it is a defi nite activity they can

engage in during their spare time.

Children should be introduced to public

and school libraries. When I was a child, I was

shown how many great children's stories and

authors were available. I read Th e Chronicles

of Narnia and the rest of the series before it

ever became a motion picture. I read books

such as "Th e Boxcar Children," "Nancy Drew,"

"Th e Bailey School Kids" and "Sideway Stories

from Wayside School." When I was older, I

read books like "Th e Lord of the Rings," Mary

Higgins Clark mysteries, Clive Cussler adventures

and Robert Jordan fantasies.

It was this special interaction with books

that let me see reading was not just a chore or

something I had to do to complete an assignment,

but rather an adventure that allowed

me to use my imagination while I nourished

my mind.

A lot of people think that in the future, we

will not need newspapers, books, newsletters,

or magazines, because everything will be on

the Internet, but people do not like to read on

computers. Because of all the web sites, people

feel like they are wasting time if they spend too

much of it on one page, and so will only skim

through the page, picking out details. Let's

all keep reading books, okay?

Personally, I love books. When I was young,

my mom would take my book away so that I

would get my homework or chores done. A few

of my roommates had the same thing done to

them when they were children.

What is so great about books, you

ask? Books can be good for many reasons.

One reason I read is because sometimes I just

want to get away, without actually going away.

Life can be stressful sometimes; everyone

knows that. But you also have responsibilities

that come with every day life, and taking a

vacation to "get away from it all" does not

always work. Plus, why spend money on gas

or a hotel, when you can just sit back and read

a chapter or two?

Reading books can also expand your

vocabulary. I think everyone has been in one

of those situations when someone says a word

you do not know, and you feel stupid to ask

what they mean. So if you read more, you can

be the one to sound smart.

Books can help your imagination. By reading a vast variety of books, it expands your imagination because you are able to meet new people. By reading,

it enables you to expand horizons and have more ideas

that help expand your imagination even more. It is like a

domino effect. The more your imagination grows and the

more you learn things, the more you will want to.

Education is also another reason to read books. Sometimes

I like to learn more about a subject we have talked

about in a class and will read a book about that subject.

Th ere are plenty of classes that you only can learn the bare

minimal, so if you really want to learn more, you have to

go to other resources.

As people stop reading, something magical is lost. Will

that magic ever be found again? Will later generations pick

up the slack and fi nd that wonderful, miraculous world that

is slipping away today? Or will it be lost forever?

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