The Lost Passion of Reading

According to a study profiled by the Daily Telegraph, "less than half of children aged nine to 14 read fiction more than once a month".

That's sad. Not in a pathetic sense, but downright gut-wrenching.

My wife and I recently organised our meager collection of books. Looking through them made us long for more time to read and also appreciate our parents for teaching us to love reading. There is satisfaction from finishing a good book that can't be mirrored in watching a good movie, wading through Wikipedia, or reading blogs and other articles. And yet I tragically find myself to be like the majority of youth. I love to read, yet rarely read more than a book each season. Why?

Source: Aha! Jokes
Part of it has to do with assigned reading in English classes in junior high and high school. Ironically, I probably read ten times the word count prior to high school than I did in and beyond. English class, while it exposed me to various genres, forced me to analyse literature. I no longer was reading for fun, but was required to find the deeper meanings in the text. It didn't help when a teacher interpreted something differently than I might. It wasn't that I couldn't understand what I read; that just wasn't my goal. Since reading was no longer chosen and performed for enjoyment, it quelled my passion for books.
Source: Immivasion
But for another large factor I can only blame myself. I love content absorption, and with so much quality content on how things work, on history, on language, and anything else simply a click a way on the internet, it's easy to fill my time learning. Often, though, the learning is surface deep, because the analysis is already done. I'm sure this will be even more dangerous for the generations to come, and I hope to teach my children, as my parents taught me, to love books as much I did then, thirsting for knowledge as well as wisdom and understanding. But above all, finding the lost passion of reading.
Source: CartoonStock


Spidergirl said...

Wow, that is exactly how I felt when we organized our books.

I also used to read far more before those English classes you mention. Part of the issue, I think, was in the literature that was assigned. Rather than expound on the good of humanity, books such as The Bluest Eye dwell on the bad. I did not and do not enjoy spending my time and energy on the negative! Experiences like that, though, made me feel that if I wanted to read books, they would all have that kind of tone.

Anonymous said...

I loved this..

Araignée said...

@Spidergirl: I agree. So many of the books assigned in English classes tend to be focused on the negative as opposed to hope in humanity.

@Mom: Thanks for reading!

Belle said...

What about time? I always loved reading and still do, but time makes my reading pretty limited to scriptures and church things and skimming of magazine articles. In college I had so much to read textbook wise much of my free reading time was spent reading school things, then I would be tired of reading. Another aspect is that I love reading books cover to cover. I don't like bits and pieces (yes I should learn to like bits and pieces). I remember one day just sitting in the popular reading section of the BYU library and reading Joseph Conrad's Narcissus cover to cover, maybe I did some almost skimming, but it was invigorating to just sit down and read something of my choice that didn't require remembering any of it and being able to read it all at once. I guess I would read a lot more if I could divide it up. If I get into a book I loose interest in other things and try to get things out of the way so I can read, and that's not conducive to life and relationships. . . So I guess I've given up reading long fiction books only to do other things with my time. (besides the fact that I can't find decent adult level reading that is I have to revert to hardy boys when I crave reading-any suggestions here? Just walking through the adult section in the library can be as degrading as browsing videos at the video store). I've considered taking up reading with Saki, we have different tastes in fiction though and non fiction while fun isn't always as relaxing. Good thing as members we are at least motivated to read scriptures and the ensign :)

and yes, english classes desire to create "awareness" has gone overboard, especially when it's not totally accurate...I remember turning down some books.

Belle said...

any one know some well written books?

Post a Comment