Sorry I’m Booked: the effects of reading and why students are reading less


Ashlyn Drew

Sophomore Micaela Sitzler enjoying a book.

Ashlyn Drew, Reporter

Reading has been a huge part of the culture for generations. Books are used in classrooms, homes, and just for fun, but teenagers seem to be reading less and less. In the last few years, the use of books has declined and the use of media has inclined. This decline in reading has made students’ brains develop differently. 

According to the articles “ Your brain on books: 10 things that happen to our minds when we read”, and “this Is Why Reading Is So Important for Your Brain”, reading rewires the brain to be more creative and to have a longer attention span. It also lets people find relief from their struggles. Jenna Vanderhulst (10) explains that she reads to find a “ break from the world, to escape, and read other people’s stories in a way that film, music, and reality cannot portray as well as written words”. Books help students experience the world from different points of view. This creates understanding for different cultures that students may not have known about, creating love and understanding in the reader. Reading also pushes the audience to form their own opinions and ask questions about the world around them.

Books also affect the way students talk and learn. As they read They use the newfound words they found, strengthening their vocabulary. Students use the knowledge that they had gained to increase their writing and talking

Books are, undoubtedly, good for the brain, so then, why are students reading less? Jacob Gilitinan states that most students are just “too busy” to pick up a good book and escape the struggles of the world for a little while. Students also find that books are boring and not worth their time. This lack of interest could be because of the rise of media that holds students’ attention, or it could just be that students lead busy lives and can’t find the time to sit down and read a good book. 

Whatever the reason, students have been setting aside their books for other things. This is causing them to have shorter attention spans. As mentioned before, books rewire the brain to have a longer attention span but as students read fewer books their attention span decreases. This makes the teachers have to change their teaching styles so that the students actually learn the way they need to.

The lack of reading has also made students’ imagination lessen. When asked to be creative most students groan, complaining that they never have to use their imagination and they don’t like using it. This lack of imagination can later be a hindrance to the world’s progress.

Reading helps students learn and grow in a way otherwise not possible. Students learn to care for each other, see others from a different point of view, and expand their vocabulary.