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The Rationale Behind the Decline in Reading Books

And how you can change the pattern by inculcating reading habits!

by Niña F. Viloria

Can you remember the time when you last read a book? Perhaps a Harry Potter or The Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection is on your shelves, not even touched or looked at.

Well, who can deny the fact? As for myself, I have several books bought online that I haven't read yet. They stay piling dust for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid fan of reading books because it gives me lots of benefits that I can use in my daily life, but due to some reason a decline in reading has been inevitable.

If we compare the present to the past there are several improvements to how we spend our free time. With radio back then we'd wait for a certain time to listen to our favorite songs played by the moderator just to dance on or sing along to, but some people during their leisure time spent one hour or less holding a book and diving to authors imaginations.

Then the internet boomed, movies were upgraded, devices constantly changed within a year, and social media applications have become an integral part of someone’s life. Now the majority of the people rarely read a book because technology evolved.

Before going to the main topic we unravel the nine ways reading is beneficial to one's life.

  • Reading can transform lives.

Many read a self help book to improve their life or their love’s one.Great example of a book is titled Ikigai one of the most popular books nowadays: The japanese secret to long and happy life really helps many individuals all over the country that made them realize how to be really happy and enhancing their principle when it comes to their existence. Bringing their mind, soul and body together in harmonious way. People I’ve known to read this book gave them an idea to reshape their lives.

  • Open the mind.

In different kinds of books. It opens our mindset to a whole new level of perspective. It allows readers to expand their knowledge in complex situations or even have it in social conventions. For instance How to be Married. It's a fiction book written by Polly Williams about a marriage facing some issues.I have read a hundred reviews about this book and truly I can justify that it helps me to see a different side of relationships especially the married couples.

  • Escape from the real world.

Having lots of things going on in your life is tiring. There is a tendency that it leads to high levels of stress or anxiety. So some people use reading as an escape from the real world.Immersing ourselves from reading sets aside our problems, our worries from the situations we can’t control.

  • It makes the reader empathetic.

The hero who died in the novel by saving the life of his beloved or not being able to live due to illness is one of the common examples of the plot twist happening in the book. Also, some inspirational stories towards success, battle in life and some scenarios that readers can relate to. It’s like putting yourself in the book or even relating your life to the characters' difficulties in the story in order for you to experience the emotions that may apply to real life situations.

  • Better Conversationalist.

It is quite interesting when we talk to a person full of wisdom. It's like we are drawn to their actions and the variety of information that they can share into a discussion. They always come up with something to help the other engage people into a fruitful conversation.

  • Improves writing.

Some of the people begin reading at an early age. It develops their creativity and imagination then later on apply it to their respective field which requires them to perform a task in writing emails, memo, business letter or even an assignment from school.

  • Focus and Concentration.

If one’s aware of what is happening around us people always use devices whenever they are or what they are doing that are considered harmful to one’s health. In addition, at this day our attention span becomes weaker so in order to have focus and concentrations to studies or work. Give atleast a time to indulge yourself into a reading habit that is beneficial into the long run.

  • Expand vocabulary

Reading books can increase your vocabulary, the more you read you are able to know lots of words that you can encounter and may apply through discussion or in public speaking.

  • Reading exercise the brain

Actively reading trains the brain to concentrate on various information; it also helps the readers in analytical, logical thinking and improves memory.

The benefits aforementioned greatly emphasize the importance of reading, why it is needed to develop a reading habit but why nowadays people are declining to read books.

Here is the reason why.

  • It’s boring.

Some prefer movies rather than books because people now have a weaker attention span,having 200-1000 pages of a novel requires effort and patience. And there are many reasons associated with it. Instead of doing this they would immerse themselves in other activities that excite them.

  • School requires us to read

Remembering our childhood days, teachers require us to read to learn about our subjects such as Mathematics, Science, English etc. We are reading not for pleasure but we are reading for our studies. So it's embedded in our minds that reading is a chore or responsibility so that is why reading is less enjoyable some of student is turned off to continue this habit when they are growing up.

  • Time consuming

With busy schedules it takes a lot of precious time reading a book. So if this book is transformed into a movie they would prefer to spare some time to watch but not indulge in hours and hours of reading.

  • Emergence of technologies.

Every information you want to acquire today is available online by using devices such as computers, smart phones etc. If one needed a summary for a book they would just search online without reading the whole book. We can observe nowadays through the latest technologies we are using, it gives us a sense of comfortability and instant gratification which are likely a drawbacks if we look closely.

  • Social Media

There are many sources of entertainment for instance YouTube, Netflix, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok. That is why we are prone to use this application because we are using it for our benefits daily, either for communication or for fun so our time for reading filled with scrolling and watching every time.

  • Lack of interest.

In the past where technology has not yet evolved people more are drawn to reading books for it offers classic fiction or nonfiction which men and women are excited to read. Nowadays, especially teenagers are more interested in making Tiktok videos or any activities that they find fascinating.

  • Cliche story

One of my friends told me she stopped reading because everytime she picks up a book, especially fiction, the ending is always similar to the book she read last time.

  • Set of Priorities

Every individual in their adulthood requires them to pay their bills, have financial stability so we are often busy earning money or busy finding a source of income just to buy the basic commodities rather than sitting in one corner reading a book.

  • Change in lifestyle

Reading can be time passing, which in today's generation is different because we have lots of options and hobbies to put our time and efforts into.

Hence, reading is globally recognized as the source of wisdom for people which keeps the brain healthy and alive. It makes our mind wonder, be curious and gain more knowledge in every aspect. The benefits are really enormous that no one can imagine but when utilized it will be prosperous in one's career. Through reading we can have interpersonal connections to our families, friends, colleagues and children to engage into conversations for new possibilities. Unfortunately, a habit of reading is almost non-existent in our society. This is a bitter reality that we face due to numerous reasons. However, we can avoid this by encouraging our love’s one to take part of a reading community or suggest a good book and ask about their preference when it comes to books. Then, our free time would not be wasting to non-beneficial activities such as watching videos, scrolling to the social media that may likely affect our health if we excessively use it.

So if we ask ourselves are we going to focus solemnly in an activity that is not helpful or we concentrate on improving our habit such as reading?

The choice is yours.


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