Why Don't Teens Read For Fun Anymore?

Why Don't Teens Read For Fun Anymore?

Why, if so many teens say they enjoy reading, do so few actually read frequently?


Reading is a great way to escape the present and be somewhere else for a little while. But I've noticed that many of my high school friends rarely read for fun. Out of curiosity, I decided to conduct a reading-related survey of 35 high school students.

First, I asked the participants if they liked to read, and 66 percent said yes. But when asked, only 20 percent of respondents said they'd consider themselves frequent readers. Why, if so many teens enjoy reading, do so few actually read frequently? To answer this question, I asked willing participants to also send a short written explanation of why they do or don't read. Here are the results:

Why do you read?

"I read because I'm able to be fully absorbed in something other than my life, which is fun!"

"I read because I get to escape reality for a couple of hours."

"I like the way words can give so many different feelings and make you imagine places you would love to go."

"It's such a fun experience, and if it's good, detailed writing, it paints an amazing picture/story."

"I was the smart child, so I kind of have to keep up that reputation."

Why don't you read?

"I never understand what's going on."

"I cannot concentrate, no matter how hard I try."

"No time."

"Well, I used to love reading but once school startedtaking over my life, I stopped."

"I spend so much time reading for school (online and on paper) that I'm rarely in a reading mood."

"I can get into a book, but I get distracted and tired easily while reading."

"I need to read in silence, which is impractical, and often times I fall asleep while reading."

"I used to read a lot, but now it's hard to find time to relax and choose a book over my phone."

"I'm so busy reading school books, I don't have time to read for fun.".

"Netflix and college apps (but mostly Netflix)."

"I grew up being the most frequent reader in any of my classes. I loved to read, and spent more time reading than anything else. I honestly feel like school was what drove me to dislike reading, or at least stop doing it so regularly because I felt forced to do something and that took the joy out of it. I would love to read, and I try so hard to find time to do so, but I usually end up doing something else."

Although the majority of teens I surveyed either used to love reading or still do, it seems that many of them simply don't find the time to read anymore. It can be difficult to focus on a book after a long day of school, extracurriculars, and homework. That said, I definitely think that the internet plays a substantial role in consuming free time that could otherwise be used for reading. To confirm this suspicion, I asked the group how much time they spent online. 92 percent of respondents said they go online for more than three hours each day.

Personally, I think that nearly everyone can manage to clear at least a little time each day to read. As an avid reader, I hope that people my age try to read more often. Reading can be so fun and so rewarding, and I don't think it's appreciated enough!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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