Why is it that people find it so difficult and unsavory to read? Very few people actually enjoy and take it upon themselves to read anything from literature, modern works, the news, or frankly anything that consists of many words that require analytical thought to understand. Has this become too much for people? Literacy should never be compromised.
Who are these people?! And also what makes you think we read less? I guess I don't know either way, but do you have some statistics saying that book sales are lower? Or libraries are empty? I know print is going away, but I think people still read news on line. Or read magazines. – Tatijana7 years ago
I can personally vouch for some of your sentiments. Despite my best intentions, it takes a lot of personal coaxing to get myself to sit down and read instead of doing something else. Because when I like to relax, I like to use my eyes and my hands or my ears rather than sit in the same position letting my eyes roll over a page. Although to be honest, I've had this inkling lately that I would get much more satisfaction from reading a book than watching a film, because often, the stories in some of the books I remember enjoying in the past were more engaging and dynamic than a lot of the films I enjoy. So I have plenty of reason to return to reading books. I just don't find myself doing it much, if at all, on a day to day, week to week, and month to month basis. I DO, however, read plenty of articles and stuff online, including here on the Artifice. It's just when it comes to books, especially thick or heavy ones, I have less of a tendency to pick one up. – Jonathan Leiter7 years ago
I think you would find it very difficult to argue that no-one reads when they would have to read your article to see your argument..? It could certainly be said that people's reading habits have changed: Online content tends to have shorter paragraphs to keep attention; short stories and poetry are starting to be more popular again because they can more easily be devoured in a short amount of time; if you really wanted to argue that people don't read at all, you could potentially look at the re-emergence of spoken-word poetry (such as Polarbear or Kate Tempest) and how people are listening to poetry because of podcasts, commutes etc. rather than buying poetry books and reading them (this can be proven with the poetry book sales vrs views on youtube etc. for said artists.) – Francesca Turauskis7 years ago
If you Google "people reading less" like I did, you may find more concrete examples to support the topic, as others have suggested. In an October 2015 study, to paraphrase, American people in general read less, but women and young adults read the most. I'd be curious to see why that is. Here's a link: http://electricliterature.com/survey-shows-americans-are-reading-less-but-women-and-young-people-read-the-most/ – emilydeibler7 years ago
This is very interesting. I would like to see some psychological articles interact with this reading into our culture, and possibly the implications of the dominance of social media. – emilyinmannyc7 years ago
Others above have questioned the general statement about 'people not liking reading'. But could it be asked, "What has happened to society's attention span?" Someone once said he reads the first paragraph of a book and if it doesn't interest him, he moves on. Really? I also heard someone say they won't watch any movie from the 70's or before because they are too slow. Where is the public's patience? I attended a lecture by a successful screenwriter and he said there is a golden rule in the biz that no one camera shot lasts longer than 8 seconds. I didn't believe him until I started counting at the movie theater and sure enough, the camera changes every 8 seconds. Does the 'fast' changes of camera shots, the high paced video games and instant chat of texting influence our attention span? Are we no longer satisfied with Fast Food and now demand Faster Food? This could be a relevant take on the subject. - Dr. T – DrTestani7 years ago
I this topic could be taken in the direction that people don't read as much as they used to. To support this idea, things such as the decline in business success of bookstores, or the rise of flash fiction as a popular form of literature can be examined. Is it that people no longer like to read, or that they would rather pull up a piece of flash fiction on their phone rather than lug a copy of Anna Karenina around with them? – MichelleAjodah7 years ago
I have to question such an absolute statement as literacy should never be compromised. I am not sure if you mean literary appreciation, which I definitely think can and should be compromised. I think that literacy is irrelevant and a completely different issue than what you are discussing before. Whether or not one can read does not mean that they will want to read, and I think that the causes for someone being illiterate are different for those who are less passionate to read. Anyway, I think this is an interesting topic, but the writer needs to have a wider view of the media landscape than saying that something should not be compromised. Perhaps, look at some of the benefits/harms of straying from normal reading activity, the changes in how people consume literature, and definitely why these changes have occurred, and perhaps where we are moving towards, whether it be some post-physical or post-social landscape of reading, or so on. – Matthew Sims7 years ago
I think this could also discuss increasing visual and other literacies that have taken primacy in a more visual culture. "Reading" itself has changed, and is no longer viewed as one person interacting with a text -> an author -> an idea, in a vacuum. Instead, reading has social elements (Oprah's bookclub, for example) and there are other motivations to read instead of just for literary learning. – belindahuang186 years ago
I think this should also cover the use of audio and e-books which have seemed to replace "regular" reading. Are people possibly just getting too lazy to pick up a book or are they too busy to sit down and read? – kspart6 years ago
Something should be said about the new culture we live in when it comes to books. There is a reason why the argument on 'if we need libraries any more' even exist, or why Borders went out of business? I don't necessarily think people aren't reading anymore I just think how people are reading is changing... – cousinsa26 years ago
I understand where you're coming from, but I also believe that, as technology continues to advance, people tend to read in a different setting or capacity. It's not necessarily that people are reading any less or are straying away from it as a whole, it just varies from person to person, what technologies they immerse themselves in, how it affects their time/motivation to read, etc. – caitlynmorral6 years ago
This could easily be an interesting article to explore with some substantial evidence. Instead of going in with the assumption that nobody reads anymore, try focusing more on the how; how people read. It's ridiculous to assume nobody reads, it's not to assume that people read differently than traditionally thought. – Shipwright6 years ago
You can even investigate how children's literacy today is compared to that of those in the 20th century. – BMartin436 years ago
Perhaps you could tailor this to ask the following question: Why do people not like to read physical forms of literature. How has the digital age affected readership?
– kraussndhouse6 years ago
I actually wrote a similar blog on this topic. Here is the blog in full: It’s a common point of conversation in bookworm circles, ‘Nobody reads anymore!’ Similar threads can be picked up from the floors of bookstores, the foyers of creative writing seminars and workshops… I think we need to be more specific. This hyperbole is doing nobody any favours. If I were to take this phrase literally, ‘Nobody reads anymore!’ Well Charlie, I would call you a flat out liar with ya butt in the air in ya head in the sand. Because people do still read – hell – maybe more than ever! People these days fill the small gaps of their lives with words. When they’re waiting inline, at the doctor’s office, at the servo, on the loo and even when their having coffee with a friend. People are reading their FaceBook feeds, tweets, Instagram posts, blog posts, reviews and articles, maybe even some news! I would say that we are reading more than ever. People who don’t even like reading are now forced (heh-heh-heh) to read more thanks to our nifty, portable, mini-computers. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that no one reads novels anymore? But that too feels a bit lofty. Obviously there’s enough statistical data to support this, and I’m sure I could research it and rehash here but a) I don’t want to research it and b) I’m sure you don’t want to read about it. What I do know is that the people in my life who love books, love books. Passionately.
Desperately. Their eyes dance when they start talking about their latest read, there’s always a paperback in their bag and with twenty (+) unread books on the shelf at home, they still emerge from their local with fresh pressed purchases pinned to their chest.
Perhaps our gang is shrinking, but I tell ya, the loyalty is fierce. Where there are readers, there are writers. One invariably leads to the other. My masters course, the first for the university, anticipated ten students. Twenty-two hopeful Poe’s made the grade. Brandon Sanderson (Sci-fi/fantasy writer) teacher’s creative writing at BYU to a packed class every year, many students who want to participate in his course are turned away because, well, there’s only so many seats. The upswing of that however, is someone videoed all the lectures and you can find them here. You’re welcome. I might be pulling my rope a little tight here but stick with me. Have you noticed all the book that have been turned into movies lately? Someone out there in Hollywood is still reading, and he’s making a neat mint off it too. I know it’s a bit of a bleak wasteland out there. Publishing houses are shrinking. Amazon. Self-publishing. Declining rates. Gasp! There is a wee spark though and it is this, books aren’t going away. Maybe things will change but what doesn’t? Read on bookworms, and I’ll see you down at the local, where we can split a chai and talk about ‘kids these days.’ – taraeast886 years ago
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