Is our generation uninspired due to a lack of reading books?

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Let’s face it: Reading books isn’t as popular as it used to be. The magical experience of reading a book has been overtaken by television, social media and electronic devices. Things like online gaming, TikTok, and Snapchat all scream for attention in our daily lives, that’s no secret. But are these influences better for supplying inspiration than reading books?

Children and adults who read books are better at concentrating and have an expanded vocabulary, which is a great tool to have as they progress through various levels of school and life. More importantly, it also provides people with inspiration. Boyertown student, Lexy Bacino says, “Reading has advanced our society in so many ways, and has brought us to the world we know today.”

Even better, fictional reading lets you forget about the chaos of the “real world” and enjoy being in a land of mythical characters and adventures, totally at ease. According to Natalie Rydzewski, an eighth grader, “Reading is so important because it helps you [develop] empathy and helps you write better. It also makes your imagination more wild and fun.” Additionally, Sarah Campbell, a ninth grader, said “Reading also leads you to new worlds, experiences, and feelings that you can’t have outside of a book.”

And they are correct. Reading books is magical, and opens doors for you everywhere. You can become more interested in cultures, and, as Kate Gundersen stated, “Losing yourself in a book is a fun way to escape reality, especially because real life can be stressful and hard.” Reading a book, to me, is also a great way to gather inspiration. 

So why don’t people read from books as much as they’re on their phone? Why aren’t bookstores and libraries packed to the brim with readers of all ages, drooling for more? Well, many people, as mentioned before, are wrapped up in other forms of media: reading, talking and texting all about the next presidential election, the next level of their video game, and a cure for coronavirus. I decided to find out just how many people were reading books during their free time, or at least had read a book over summer vacation. After talking to some people, I was disappointed with the results. This was because while some people were reading, most were not. I love reading, and can’t imagine a world where there is no enthusiasm for books. They had spent their summer vacation filming TikToks and playing video games. They were watching Hamilton on Disney+ and FaceTiming their friends.

But if you think about it, reading books and all of these other pastimes aren’t so different. True, books tend to be better at increasing vocabulary and are better for your health, but books, movies, music, and video games all do one very important thing: inspire. Freshman Ella Albright, was very interested in our nation’s history after watching and listening to the Hamilton musical. People are interested in making their own video games because of a really cool game they have played, and others are writing their own music because they were inspired by a musical artist. People are creating, researching, and learning from all of this media. This is a new age – there is so much to discover. And so while reading books is important, it’s not for everyone. Some people prefer to be inspired by other things such as movies, music, or the news.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter where you gather your inspiration, as long as you keep learning. There are so many opportunities ahead of you, waiting to be explored. So go ahead, pull out that book you’ve been wanting to read, or crank up the volume to a new song. Beat that video game you’ve put off for ages, or host that movie marathon. Get ready to be sucked into an adventure you’re sure to love and be inspired to change the world!

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