Friday, April 24, 2009

The Decline of Literature (#24)

I am writing an opinion piece for my school's newspaper about the decline of literature. *insert ominous music here*

I'm actually quite excited about this as it is a topic I'm very passionate about.

I love books. I love reading. I love literature in general. Therefore, it saddens me that so many people are turning to video games, movies, music, instead of books.

I have nothing against movies and music (video games, maybe). I am an avid movie fan. I go to our little local theater almost every other week. And I have an enormous iTunes library. The only dirt I have with them is that they're replacing books.

Books have messages. Books have meaning. Books have actual content that you can hold in your hands. They have shaped human civilization for as long as anyone can remember. Literature is the building bock of society.

But more recently, people's minds have been turning to this:Books are seen as just another form of entertainment. And why read? Why use your brain when instead you could be decimating evil villians with one swish of your Wii remote or listening to Taylor Swift sing about her elusive romeo?

But books are not just another form of entertainment. That's where people's perceptions go awry. While yes, books can be very entertaining, they also have a lot more to offer. They have perspectives and opinions.

The problem is that while America's literacy rate is slowly inching upward (it is, I did my research), the number of books that are being picked up is slowly inching downwards. Does this make any sense? No. Nonono.

Why are people so dumb? Why can't they just go out to their local indie bookstore and pick up the first appealing book that they see. Sit down and read it and see where it takes them.

Now I have some questions for you...(comment please?)

What do you think about all of this?
What does it mean for the future of our society?
What does literature mean to you?


  1. About the why can't they just buy a book and read it thing: A lot of the time parents and teachers don't introduce reading as something fun to do. It's introduced as a necessity. Something you have to do and something you'll be forced to do in school. So they aren't shown how fun it is from the start so they're wary of all books, not just the ones read for school. At least that is my unresearched opinion. ;)

  2. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I am appalled by how little intelligent, (and I mean intelligent, educated, professional) people I know read. And if they do, rarely do I meet someone that reads literary fiction. I read to all my children from a very early age. They, (except for my oldest son) love to read, thank God. I would be so disappointed if they didn't. I could go on and on about this subject, but will stop here.

  3. Oh, by the way, I love the artwork you've used here in your blog.

  4. I agree with what Amee said: if reading is presented as a chore, something negative, children aren't going to be encouraged to read. Neither of my parents are huge readers, but they always read to my brother and me when we were younger. It wasn't a chore to them -they really liked doing it. The schools in my area have an accelerated reader program where they take tests on books in their level in order to earn points and move upwards. I've seen lots of kids reading more as a result, but because they're confined to certain age limits they're not always necessarily reading what they enjoy. What could have been fun is now a chore, another school project. In addition, I think that a lot of people have less leisure time than ever before. It's always go go go, so when they do get to rest it's a lot less tiring mentally to just watch something.

  5. You got two awards! Go check out my blog!

  6. I wonder if part of this is the decline of the book shop, the reduction of library's and cut backs at schools, plus of course the teen advertising that turns people into High School look a likes?

    The going into a book store and find a hidden treasure has been replaced by having the same top books that everybody reads..

    I remember asking a teen if they had read such and such a book. Their reply was.."I'm waiting for the film" Perhaps that's it in a nut shell.
    Great post Liv


Pour your heart out. :)