With the growing popularity of media consumption online, the mode of gaining information and entertainment has changed somewhat 180 degrees. Why youngsters don’t like to read books and why it is essential for them to read – Let’s dig deep in this matter.
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How important books were in my life
Growing up as a 90’s kid, I witnessed the great balance between the change in the education system, advancement in technology and normal steady life. Children of my age enjoyed the perks of new tech and gadgets along with the basic societal engaging life.
This was the era when the publication of books (from both national and foreign writers), magazines, comics etc. were at their peak. People enjoyed reading, and it gave them happiness.
Youngster’s don’t like to read books anymore
The situation changed drastically in three decades. The newer generation is no more interested in reading books. By “books” I mean non-academic books. There is a complete shift of interest from reading printed and physical books to consuming media electronically.
Reasons to why teenagers are not interested in reading books
There are several factors leading to the loss of interest in reading books and printed materials and why teenagers are not interested in reading books.
1.) Deep Penetration of electronic media in our life
Electronic Media has now emerged as the giant in information circulation. People have shifted their focus from print media to TV for information. This very tendency is being followed by the youngsters too.
Although adults still prefer newspapers for the source of daily information, the same is not being encouraged to practice by their youngsters.
2.) Growth of the Internet
These past few years have witnessed a massive boost in internet penetration in India (thanks to JIO). The data rates have become way too cheaper and can be afforded by the lower middle class too.
Thus, has resulted in more consumption of information online. This has resulted in a reduction of references from the book.
3.) Increase in cost of Books
The increase in the cost of books is also a reason for the decline in readership. Although there are cheaper versions of paperbacks available still they are costlier than the materials downloadable online.
Cost is one of the most significant factors which determines the purchase and consumption of any good which holds true for the books also.
4.) Impatient Nature
The new generation is impatient and wants the result as quick as possible. In contrast, reading is a steady process. Reading demands involvement which the youngsters lack nowadays.
5.) Imitation to their parents
Well, this factor cannot be ruled out. Kids always follow what the elders are surrounding them do. These days elders too don’t give enough importance to reading books ( academic books being an exception ).
Parents never promote their children to read storybooks, comics, journals, magazines, etc. They forget that these things help in building the creative side of their child as well as boosts the textual reading as well. When they neglect the same things, kids too imbibe.
6.) The lesser organization of book fairs
When I was a kid, there were book fairs organized every three-four months in our city. Our elders promoted visiting those book fairs and even took us there. We got to experience the wide variety and range of books both from Indian and foreign writers.
I remember that in one such book fairs I got to know Premchand and Ruskin Bond. Now there are very few book fairs in the city, and if ever they are organized, they attract a minimal crowd. So, this is one of the reasons why youngsters are unable to experience the versatility of books and connect with them as per their likings.
7.) Less leisure time
School and college going students are so overburdened by their academics and extracurricular activities that they don’t get enough time to explore other things. Total emphasis is on improving the academics and scoring well.
With so much hoax over marks and results, students are not able to think anything beyond them, reading other books is just beyond their scope of thoughts.
8.) Non-availability or underutilized Library
With time, the number of libraries has declined. Previously almost every city had a dozen or two libraries ( both government and private ). But now there are a very few left.
Although individuals run many private libraries, they solely focus on the preparation of entrance examinations.
Also, it’s a truth that most schools and colleges don’t provide complete access to students to the Library while they show on papers that they do glorify it in their advertisements.
So, when someone doesn’t get proper exposure to books, how can one expect them to develop any interest in reading?
9.) Reading books is no more a hobby
With the growth of social media and media consumption platforms like Youtube, Facebook youngsters spend their massive chunk of time browsing them. It’s pretty evident that visual elements are much more appealing, so these platforms are very intriguing.
Youngsters are very much captive in engaging in those things, and reading seems too old fashioned to them. So, teenagers show no interest in making reading a hobby anymore.
10.) Pre-notion that reading books are Boring
Youngsters don’t opt for reading books because they don’t know that reading books can be fun and it can be intriguing. There is a pre-notion among them that books are meant to be boring like their textbooks and cannot be entertaining.
This is because they are not at all aware of what to read and where to explore.
These all factors are very much responsible for lack of interest in books reading among the new generation.
Reasons Why Youngsters Should Read Books
1.) Developing own transparent thought process
Well, we are all dealing with this issue these days when our decisions and brooding is primarily getting corrupted by the influx of social media influence. They just provide one side of the story and don’t encourage the development of the argument.
One doesn’t get the option to have a different opinion due to the fear of getting judged. But on the other hand, books never oppose new thoughts and ideologies. You get so many ideas and thoughts when you explore several writers without any fear of getting judged.
2.) It Enhances the Reading ability
Well, books and reading are directly connected. If you develop an interest in books, that means you will have fun reading them. This intent is also reflected in positive results in textbooks reading as well. Hence, developing a habit of reading enhances productivity in academics as well.
3.) Collecting knowledge
More than half of the materials available online are either copied, impersonations, fake. Thus any knowledge acquired from random sites is just garbage. Increase of fake viral facts is just an example proving my point.
On the other hand, books from publishers are, in general, a reliable source of information and can be trusted more than websites. Thus, they can be considered for gaining information and developing your knowledge base.
4.) Improve Memory and Concentration
Reading books demands patience and concentration. It’s not like getting the desired information at just one click. When one reads books regularly, it results in an increase in focus and concentration power in the reader.
It also improves his memory power, and the person can recall things easily.
5.) Developing Creativity
When a teenager is exploring books related to genres like Art & literature, fiction, Poems etc. it helps him in developing creative sense inside him. This also induces the sense of – How to think and not what to think which today’s social media does.
Thus, for overall positive personality development reading books is a must.
How to Encourage Youngsters to Read Books
1.) Self implementation
As discussed above, youngsters copy what they see elders doing. When we as elders don’t set an example of how come we can expect our youngsters to follow that very thing. SO, when we start reading regularly in front of them, it sprouts curiosity in them, and they too try to read.
2.) Taking them to Book Fair
Though book fairs are organized in minimal numbers these days, whenever they are in your city, make sure your youngsters in the house visit them. Go there and help them explore the massive world of books and writers.
Let them choose which one appeals to them the most and buy it for them. Remember, this is the beginning and once they start developing interest in reading, try to switch to some books written by renowned writers.
3.) Get them a subscription to the Library
A library is a perfect place for everyone who wants to explore books and reading. The person gets a chance to search from a wide variety of genres of books and can read them according to their will.
Also, the Library proves to be the most cost-effective way of accessing books as you don’t need to buy every book.
4.) Encourage reading while going to bed and say no to internet
This surely is an excellent way to develop reading habits in someone. These days everyone is glued to their mobile screen while going to sleep. Medically it has been proven that watching continuously on-screen reduces sleep quality.
Whereas reading books prove to be beneficial while going to sleep. When practised regularly, this helps teenagers to adapt to reading and develop an affinity towards mobiles at the bed. Even the soft copy, E-books, kindle etc. should be avoided as printed physical books are always a better choice for reading.
5.) Buy Books with Images Initially
For someone new to reading books will never find it fascinating to read a lengthy book with only texts and no visual aids. So, if you are encouraging someone who is starting to explore books, make sure the books they get have enough pictures, graphs, illustrations etc.
This will not just induce interest in them for reading but also help them connect and memorize the content.
- Current Situation and social status of Teachers in India
- Why are online classes for e Learning in India struggling
The upcoming generation is lacking the interest in reading books which is a serious concern. There are several factors why youngsters don’t like to read books these days. But if we elders are determined and develop an environment for reading, it surely will have positive results.
These days there are so many distractions for teenagers- Social Media, Video Publishing websites, overemphasis on academics, marks and results, etc. Kids spend a lot of their precious hour’s spending on internet browsing and meeting virtual friends gaining incomplete information and garbage.
On the other hand, books can help the youngsters develop their personality, diversify their thought process, increase creativity, experience the real world of knowledge and whatnot. Once the youngsters realize the importance of books and reading, they will identify that the books are a real treasure for humans and nothing can replace it.
After all, it is truly said that-
Books are our Best Friends