Revival of Reading

Revival of Reading

Bonnie Horn, Staff Writer

George R.R. Martin once said that “ A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies and the man who never reads lives only once.” Unfortunately, we live in a society that believes that reading is nothing but a waste of time and can’t possibly be enjoyable. Today, most students consider opening a book and diving into its contents for school purposes tedious and unnecessary, especially considering we now have websites that can give us the basic plot to any story. Phones, laptops, and iPads can provide easy entertainment that can keep a student preoccupied for hours, but it also causes a lack of stimulation the brain needs to thrive. Reading increases one’s knowledge, improves focus, and allows one to experience a form of tranquility that technology cannot. Technology is the culprit behind a student’s disinclination to read and sadly humanity has now lost one of the greatest benefits that life has to offer.

The main reason behind why children are encouraged or even required to go to school is because having a strong foundation of knowledge is critical to one’s success. Books are the best tool that teachers have to offer when it comes to increasing a student’s education. Students may take one look at their required readings and instantly draw back in disgust, but books give us knowledge that create a lasting impact for life. A study conducted by Emory University revealed that “becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function.” This indicates that reading boosts intelligence significantly, and all students can reap from that benefit. Technology is creating a barrier that is preventing student’s minds from reaching their full potential, and it needs to stop. 

It’s easy to get distracted when there are countless ways to preoccupy oneself, spending time on electronics being a main pastime, but choosing to pick up a book rather than a phone is a great way to increase attention span, allowing students to perform better in school. When a student reads, their attention is completely focused on the plot line, and students can apply their ability to have this level of concentration in other moments during school.  The University of Melbourne found that “…using neuroimaging of frequent Internet users showed twice as much activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain compared to sporadic users.

This is the part of the brain that is used for short-term memory and quick decision-making. In situations where there is a flood of information, we have learned to skim.” Having the ability to retain information and focus is an essential part of succeeding not only in school but in life. 

    The mind works best when it’s at ease. Technology can create a constant feeling of worry and anxiousness which eliminates a student’s ability to make any accomplishments in school. Reading allows students to step back from their stress and recharge. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. This number is far too high to ignore. Reading needs to become part of a student’s routine, so they can continue to excel in school.

    Society needs to recognize the importance of reading. Reading cannot become extinct at the hands of technology, or there will be an endless cycle of students suffering in the classroom.