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In today’s society the marvel of reading has drastically decline from what it used to be. As Mitchell Stephens states, “Our homes barely make room for reading” (Stephens 137). I strongly agree with this point because when you look back into the ancient days, there were home libraries in utmost ninety percent of the homes. Now, there is currently very few homes that have the home libraries with them. Instead paper and authenticity have been replaced by television and technology, thus allowing people to have no time or interest to read. This can lead some people , like Alberto Vitale, to believe that “..People who used to read a lot of books read less now” (Stephens 138). However, I disagree with this point because despite the fact that reading isn’t a primary focus in our society anymore, more and more books are being published and their demand is also high in the market thus many people read books.
“Fiction and general nonfiction works were designed to be read but lately they do not serve their purpose but instead they are used to make movie tracks” (Stephens 138). I strongly disagree with this point simply because most of the people enjoy reading these books since they are more intriguing and imaginative than before. And in regard to books becoming movies, I and many others find that books are better than the movies made about them because you are inside the characters head instead of watching from the outside. There is truer depth and perspective along with captivating detail that one could completely miss on the screen. Another thing that is mistaken that Stephen’s talks about, is thinking that since book sales are through the roof, people are reading books. When a lot of books that are bought are just sitting on a shelf or coffee table like mere decorations. That’s what makes the library so useful and fantastic. To quote Simon Bessie, a chairman Library of Congress, “You can’t say people take books out of the library just to put them on the coffee table” (Stephens 139). And I strongly agree with that point because since you have to return library books, you would check them out to actually read them or research which is why we have library at schools to carry out our schoolwork. When you walk into a library you can always be assured that people are learning and filling their minds with new information.
But like Stephens states “Reading’s troubles are not difficult to explain” (Stephens 141) I agree with this statement because, with the way technology and innovation has boomed in the past century, people have far more resources at their hand to occupy them and fulfill their needs. Unlike “A hundred years ago, on days when no circus was in town, people looking for entertainment had three alternatives: fulfilling biological needs, talking, or reading” (Stephens 141). In contrast to now, where people have limitless possibilities to what they can do and where they can go. Books used to be the element that took us to another place in our minds but in today’s society you could literally transport to other places in a matter of hours or be immersed in a universe by a movie. So sorrowfully, reading “is no longer something we ache to do” (Stephens 143). In addition to this “There is decline in writing skills… Written language requires stricter rules of syntax and grammar more than spoken language” (Stephens 144). I strongly support the statement.
Although technology has only enhanced writing and people have not stopped writing, the newer generation has trouble even filling a page with clear, well laid out sentences. Students in the tv generation have “Los[t] command of their writing” as a result of reading less (Stephens 146). I have seen this in my own experience with the student I went to school with. And I’m seeing it happen even worse to the generation below me because of how many youths have their eyes glues to the newest and greatest technology in their hands.
“Our entertainers, pundits, professors, ministers as well as leaders are judged not by the ability to reason but their level of entertainment.” I am in support of the statement because in most cases, where teachers are not able to make their audience lively, the students tend to drift away from the topic of discussion (Stephens 145). As a result, that teacher gets labeled by the students as boring or strict. So now teachers try to be as entertaining and “cool” to the students as possible because then the students will be more attentive and pay attention to the lesson plan. I find this wretched because that means that children are losing their desire to learn if it doesn’t compete with how entertaining television shows, video games, and smart phones are. This is just more evidence on how new technology has made the reading environment unconducive.
I believe the availability of television, tablets as well as phones have greatly affected the learning environments and reading in general. Reading plays an essential role in our society but sadly “readings’ role has diminished and likely will continue to shrink” (Stephens 149). But I believe that we shouldn’t just let it happen, like Mitchell Stephens says, “it would not hurt any of us to read more to our children or take a book with us next time we must sit and wait” (Stephens 149). As a society it is our job to realize and maintain the importance of keeping reading alive.
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