Reading has become increasingly less common. Despite the fact that the learning process necessitates reading proficiency, schools continue to record low reading and writing proficiency. In terms of content, reading covers a wide range of topics. History, science, the arts, and literature are some of the typical materials that have captivated people of all ages. The information and communication technology revolution, on the other hand, abruptly altered the reading pattern. The transition from reading physical books to reading e-books has been steady (Carr 18). Reading has, in turn, lost favor with the younger generation. The evident intergenerational divide means that the contemporary society has lost touch with the tradition of devoting time to concentrate and read several pages of a novel, fiction, and other books. While the school curriculum is still hinged on reading as the effective path to learning, the technological interruption is overriding the teachers and lecturers desire. Even the older generation has been caught in the web of diminishing attitude towards reading. The desire to remain up to date with latest information has overtaken the value of reading history, learn literature and other books.
Findings by National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) reveal that the number of people reading literary work has collapsed. In fact, the young generation is completely out of sync with reading (Cuypers and Christopher 41). Taking a glance at a group of young people seated in restaurants, Bus Park, at home and other social places, one would be fascinated with the concentration on mobile phones, tablets, iPhones, and other gadgets. On the other hands, libraries are experiencing low book borrowing each day with exception of widely publicized best seller publications. Despite the overwhelming inclination towards internet, television, virtual games, computers, radios, mobile devices, among other media, the value of reading remain irreplaceable.
Reading is a tool for self-improvement. Through reading, one is able to create a structural path that help in understanding one-self and determine constructive actions. In fact, reading boosts understanding of various topics and enhances developing interest. In-depth mastery of concepts through reading is a recipe to self-confidence. The concentration, composure and attention that reading require prepares an individual to develop such desirable traits as better communication skills, tolerance, patience, among others. The more one reads, more knowledge is gained and understanding of complex issues steadily becomes easy. More truth about daily life experiences is on the books. The rules that govern various spheres of life are in books and reading opens up the mind to synthesize and make informed judgment for each course of action (Cuypers and Christopher 53). Reading provides a guidance platform for previews, reviews, and feedback from other people which inform ones decision for further action. The culture of reading is an art in itself that promotes better self-understanding from interaction with the book. Reading is a recipe to better communication. The process of reading, understanding and interpreting words is an invaluable tool to connect with the author and the world. Cognitive development and expansion is a function of reading (Cuypers and Christopher 71) . The inspiration obtained from reading has a constructive and permanent impact on ones life. Unlike other media, reading books is mentally and physically engaging and boosts creativity, imagination and innovation.
The influence of other media such a television, mobile devices, and internet on reading cannot be underrated. The prevalence of anxiety for news and other information has pushed several people to resort to cheaper, fragmented, and ready content available on media (Carr 64). The availability of books online has even made the situation worse. The steady drift towards internet to access e-books is also influencing people to divert to other pleasures in the social networking sites such as Facebook, twitter, YouTube, among others. Besides, multiple previews, articles and journals have become the convenient alternative to reading of physical books. As to whether alternative media will render reading obsolete is a question that elicit mixed responses. Infrastructural differences across the world will still leave the books as the main source of information. Internet, television, radio and other media are supported by infrastructure which is available in developed countries but limited in the third world. In that regard, complete elimination of reading is unrealistic. However, the unprecedented diffusion of technology around the world and the influence of mainstream and social media will reduce the need to read.
The society has a lot to pay in exchange of reduced reading. The next generation will likely believe in the media construct of the society and fail to be creative. Moral deviance, heightened anxiety, limited understanding, poor communication skills and fading interpersonal skills will likely be the problems of the society. A critical assessment of significance of reading calls for the societal reconsideration to campaign for a revival in book reading.
Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember. London: Atlantic Books, 2011. Print.
Cuypers, Stefaan E, and Christopher Martin. Reading R. S. Peters Today: Analysis, Ethics, and the Aims of Education. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Internet resource.