Literature and Millennials: is Reading out of Fashion?

Story by Maite Sastre, Staff Writer


Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf. Do you recognize any of these names? Have you read any of their work? If your answer was “yes” to both of these questions, I warn you: you might be going extinct. Younger generations seem less interested in both American and World literature. Most teens today would rather use their phones than read and this does not look like something that will improve over time.

Christina Hessing, an AICE English Language teacher, has strong opinions about what she thinks has changed in her students’ reading habits.

“Students have not only been reading fewer words but also reading for less time,” Hessing said.

Hessing feels that because of how text on the internet works – usually divided by bullet points or numbered – students are being negatively affected by it.

“Younger people’s concentration time when reading has been decaying over the years.” Hessing said.

Now, you might be asking yourself, why is reading so important, anyways? I know that question may sound cliché, and the answer even more so, but do not underestimate the power of reading. Through books, one is able to explore, get to know various cultures, and improve writing performance by learning new words and how to use them. In case that you still think these are not good enough reasons, different books have different stories. Life is not always amazing, we all have our ups and downs, and books can help you take your mind off of it sometimes.

If the stories are the problem maybe all you need is to look a little harder. There are millions of different universes out in book stores, libraries, and even online stores. From Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and Herman Melville’s stormy seas to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 20’s, Umberto Eco’s mysteries, and Harper Lee’s love stories; a range of options is available in any and every genre that you might be interested in. Start with something small if you want to, there are plenty of interesting books that have less than eighty pages! There is no need to rush either, read when you can, you do not have a deadline to meet.

At the end of the day books come with a lot of advantages but it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to explore them. It does not matter if you are reading the oldest or the newest book on Earth and it does not mean that you cannot ever use your phone again and can only read books the whole entire day. On the contrary, reading means that you will be able to do more and travel all around without leaving your couch. Give an incredible book with a story that you really think you will enjoy a shot. In the worst scenario you won’t like it, and in the best, you will fall in love with it and become a bookworm.

Nevertheless, do not worry if you do not fall in love with books or they just aren’t your thing, there is no problem with that. Reading, like any other hobby, might be pleasing to some but not to others. The key is to explore every possibility given to you to its fullest, including reading. You may find a passion where you least expect.


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