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    Is literature at risk?

    Recently, I read an article revealing that American families have stopped reading books and novels, and that the average American read one book per year. Literature is so crucial to our understanding and growth: it teaches us creativity and imagination, how to understand and relate to people that don’t share the same experiences, while making us critical thinkers of the world around us. As our technology becomes faster and even more hi-tech, I can’t help but think that the fears of Ray Bradbury in "Fahrenheit 451" have come true. Does literature still have a role in our post-modern society and is it an issue that so few Americans read more than a book a year?

    • It's definitely an issue that people don't read enough, like you mentioned it helps us problem solve and empathize. It's no wonder the world has become so dumbed down and self absorbed. If there is any research into people's ability to sympathize and the amount they read I'd like to read that, there would probably be a correlation. – Slaidey 9 years ago
    • I totally agree with you in the importance of literature to understanding and growth. I think that literature definitely still plays a role in our post-modern society, but in a very different way than it did previously. With the rise of digital publishing, more and more people are getting their content and books digitally (but they are still reading). – Morgan Muller 9 years ago
    • This is a big issue not only for development and for society and educational purposes, but also for us writers where the competition and the field is already extremely competitive, now the audience is shrinking as well. I think there is a possibility though, that it might come back around. – Nof 9 years ago
    • I think that the diminshed role of reading in people's lives is tied to the increased prevalene of technology and social media in recent years. With so many sources of entertainment competing for people's attention, the pressure to compress information into bite-size snippets has conditioned us, increasingly, to lack the patience required for the more in-depth, time-consuming concentration required to interact with books. – Julia 9 years ago
    • I think that the statement that American families are not reading is only half true. If someone doesn't read, I've come to the conclusion that it might be because they just don't have time and watching T.V is far more relaxing on tired eyes. One kan not read during college because they have so much stuff to work on it's ridiculous, so when they finally relax they read a news article or a t.V show that's fast and short. Reading may not be valued because some maybe fear it for being to liberal,(this is a hypothesis), some may not read because it is considered by some to be feminine and not manly like sports (again, hypothesis). Maybe some view reading as a waste because it's fun and entertaining and does not fit into the work ethic of the American puritan. This last one was theorized by Ursula K. Le Guin. When the mass actually reads, it is usually books that are "popular." Rather than reading something like Beowulf, Gilgamesh, or the Egyptian Book of the Dead, people read what's a bestseller or a popular fantasy novel, or a popular comic superhero series. Why? Because it will give them social status among friends because that's what their friends are talking about. It's all about social mobility. Individuals however, read what they are interested in. Movies, T.V, and Videogames are oft blamed for the lack of reading. However I argue that that's not a bad thing. I blame not these artistic forms, rather I would argue that these are other mediums at telling stories much like books. So therefore our energies as humans are spread out because we have more themes of entertainment. This is a great thing. We have more ways of telling stories, and like shoddy, schlekht, kitsch trashy books that oft get published, these forms also produce shoddy, schlekht, kitsch trashy films, t.v, videogames, etc. All mediums kan produce kitsch. That doesn't mean that either medium is schlekht. So what then? Well, all we kan asken for is more writers that want to strive to the pynacle of great outstanding erstaunlicking prose and poetry, drama, film, and t.v, graphic novels and videogames. We must fokus on playing with language and stories. One person is in the process of doen it right now. So in conclusion we must encourage reading books for the sake of reading. We should not treat literature as a means to and end but rather a pleasure center of learning and thinking and above all, having fun with it. If we kan convince more people that reading is just as fun as films, I'm sure we shall succeed. Plus if the above statement were true, one person wouldn't have completed 10 books this summer. – Starvix Draxon 9 years ago
    • Maybe you should not believe everything you read on articles. Also, statistics can fluctuate over time (assuming they are not biased). – T. Palomino 2 years ago

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