It is evident in today’s culture that reading has diminished in popularity. Reading is no longer an exhilarating adventure to faraway lands, rather, it has become an unfortunately necessary chore. As a population we would rather watch a movie on Netflix or follow the increasing amount of likes on our Facebook page before we pick up a book and become emerged 20’000 leagues under a sea of pages in a novel or magazine.
The popularity of reading has been declining at a drastic rate. A survey taken in 1984 states that 9% of young adults aged 17 admit to never or hardly ever reading in their spare time over the course of a year. When this same survey was taken again in 2014 it found that 27% of the same age group also expressed that they too do not read or may read on only one or two occasions throughout a year. It is evident that the number of people that do not read has tripled over a period of 30 years, which is an alarming amount! Hence, it is prevalent that we as a culture need to emphasize the importance of reading. With a decline in recreational reading, the domino effect would cause a decline in Literacy rates across the country. To put this idea into perspective, Statistics Canada recorded in 2015 that “42% of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills.” This is important to note because people with low literacy skills have a much harder time finding employment and are generally less financially stable due to lack of literary knowledge.
Take a moment and consider how difficult and frustrating life would be if you couldn’t read. In day- to-day life we take reading for granted. We read signs to navigate through our cities, to fill out forms at the doctor’s office, and to buy our food at the grocery store. By encouraging the generations of our world to stop and take a short period of time out of their busy lives to focus on reading, a substantial change would be made in how we view the world and live our daily lives. Reading in itself is incredibly beneficial. People can use reading to relieve stress, to entertain at little or no cost, to improve one’s diction and language, and to explore worlds, thoughts and ideas you might not have ever had the chance to consider. Consequently, we would all have a troublesome time just living the basic components of our lives if we were unable to read.
Reading options are endless, as choices range from fiction to nonfiction novels, graphic novels, newspapers, magazines, and even comic books. There is something appealing to everyone! If you consider the fact that a majority of movies made are based off of best-selling series or novels, such as: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Kite Runner, then one should also consider how engaging the book behind the movie must have been to inspire such an undertaking. When we take the time to read, reflect on, and appreciate the efforts of writers through their prose, it benefits us as the reader and as human beings. Through reading we challenge our own thoughts, opinions, and perspectives of things that we may not have been given the chance to experience. Out there is a world of endless possibilities. Through imagination and the pursuit of knowledge, reading is the gateway to the impossible.
Thus, it is completely true that even in the simply stated words of Dr. Seuss, we can travel the road less taken and enter a world of new discoveries all through the slightest turn of a page.