Yes, that is a question I've asked myself many times this week. Reading is one of my favourite pastimes. It can transport you into new worlds and introduce you to colourful characters who might just change the way you think. Reading books is one of life's finest pleasures, and I don't understand why it seems to be dying.
I am surrounded by fellow teenagers five days a week. I hear their conversations, and I observe my generation in their natural habitat on a daily basis. This past week, I was shocked to hear that a large number of my peers don't read novels on a regular basis. So I investigated further, and asked some more of my friends. A large number said that they hadn't read a book that wasn't a school assignment since they were in primary school. Some even said they'd never read a book cover to cover unless it was for school. After hearing this, I expressed my concern to my friends in a calm and mature manner, with the exception of Finlay and Alfie, which went as depicted below (sorry).
I go to a school which is known for achieving good results, so that's why I was so surprised to hear that a lot of these bright kids don't read books. I'm not gender stereotyping here, but purely based on the results I received in my informal survey, it was more the boys than the girls who claimed they didn't like books. We live in a digital age. Video games, tv shows and movies are available to us at the click of a button thanks to the internet, so sitting down and taking the time to read a novel is becoming an outdated concept to us. I'm guilty of it too. I live and work on the blogosphere, so I know what it's like to get immersed in the digital world. In fact it was one of my New Years Resolutions to make more time for reading, because I felt I didn't do it enough. But with so many amazing books out there, it's such a shame that teenagers don't seem to enjoy reading. Even taking out ten minutes of your daily video games/TV time/sleep/etc to read a few pages will benefit you, and bring you great joy.
Whether you've never really got into reading or you're in a bit of a rut, below are some of my favourite books from over the past few years that you might want to look at. These vary from childhood favourites to crappy (yet brilliant) teen fiction and an increasing amount of more thought--provoking novels. I have a never-ending list of books I want to read too, so hopefully I can expand my list of favourites soon. I'm trying to think of a way to encourage my peers to read, but currently I'm struggling. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
A Gathering Light - Jennifer Donnelly
The Curious incident of the dog in the nighttime - Mark Haddon
Divergent trilogy - Veronica Roth
The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
Severed heads, Broken hearts - Robyn Schneider
The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides
Once - Morris Gleitzman
The Silver Brumby - Elyne Mitchell
Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler
The printed word is one of life's greatest gifts and we can't let it die out. Just read. Please. You'll thank yourself later.