The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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COLUMN: Do people read books anymore?

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Ashanti Thomas

As someone who aspires to be an author, the question of whether literature will be around in the future hangs heavy.

In my grad classes, we have talked about the future of books and how people have stopped reading. In recent years, reading has become a chore for students.

Students have reported that they do not feel like reading for their classes and most do not do their assigned readings.

The addition of COVID-19 has also set students back a few years. Younger students were not taught necessary in person skills such as reading when they were online. Older students were taught online and not forced to read. College students became lazier as more online classes are available where they can find answers online.

Reading in schools has decreased dramatically while it seems reading for pleasure has actually increased. People had more time at home to read what they liked, or they wanted to pass the time away from technology.

The availability of electronic books through Kindles or Nooks have also allowed more people to be able to read wherever they go and not worry about carrying around multiple books.

I decided to conduct a study among people I knew to find out how they read. My study was of 25 people.

I asked them how they read, whether it be physical copies, electronic copies or if they did not read for pleasure. Nine said they read both physical and electronic copies, seven said physical copies only, three said electronic copies only, and six said they do not read for pleasure at all.

I also asked them if they read assigned readings for class. Thirteen said they read their readings, four said they would only skim and a whopping eight said they wouldn’t read at all.

Something I noticed was that among the 13 who said they would read what was assigned, most of them were either some type of science major or an English major. Though, the majors were scattered when it came to who read for pleasure.

Now, I feel like that makes sense as science majors need to study quite extensively, and English majors literally study books. So, what makes reading so scarce now?

I think the easy access to technology has crushed the amount of people who choose reading for fun. Things like TikTok and other social medias are what people choose to spend their free time on. Some of the people I asked asked me if scrolling on social media counted as reading, which, to me, shows that the use of books has dwindled in some ways, but there are still people who keep the book industries alive.

Hopefully, as time goes on, people realize how important reading literature is and the love of reading will increase again.

 

Kierstyn Budz can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Kierstyn Budz, Columnist
Kierstyn Budz is a senior English major. This is her first year at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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