My son just took his ACT test this past week and while we were discussing it, he shared some troubling news with me. Out of all his friends and classmates, he’s one of the very few who actually reads books. He shared that he always aced language arts, while other students struggled to get a passable grade. Then he told me something even more upsetting, most of his friends had never read a novel, unless it had been assigned to them in class. Determined to prove him wrong, I started my own informal poll and asked several teens what book they were currently reading. More times than not, I got the same answer, “None. I don’t read.”
As an author, this shocked and distressed me. For as long as I can remember, I loved reading, from my first chapter book, Charlotte’s Web, to The Sweet Valley High Series and finally to romance novels. No matter how sad or upsetting my life was, I could always retreat to a book and get away for a while. Reading was never a chore, but rather an extreme pleasure that I always considered a gift.
I am fortunate, in that my children have inherited my love of books. My daughter loves to devour books on dragons, while my teenage son is addicted to Stephen King. They get excited about going to the bookstore and look forward to trips to the library. I had just taken it for granted. Not any longer. I’m glad they know the pure joy of reading.
Still don’t believe me? I found this link where somebody went on Chatroulette and requested “Show me your books” http://crookedtimber.org/2010/03/13/chatroulette/ The results were very revealing.