Some students prefer the movie, while others actually read — or listen

Chase Anderson

More stories from Chase Anderson

December 15, 2022

Chase Anderson

As the use of technology has skyrocketed in recent years, fewer people are buying, reading and enjoying books.

The days of flipping through the pages of paperback novels seem to be over. Or are they? 

With more and more accessibility to social media, it seems the enjoyment of reading for fun has come and gone. But has the love for reading really died?

“In my opinion, [reading] is not as good as watching a movie,”  PHS junior Kolt Flores said. “When I’m reading, I get distracted really easily and when I watch movies, I can stay watching for longer.”

Statistics about readers in the United States seem to agree. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent American Time Use Survey, a measly 19% of 15-19-year-olds read for leisure. This is a record low number for individuals who spend their free time reading. Instead, over half of 15-19-year-olds spend their time watching television or engaging in online activities.

However, PHS junior and reader Emma Bucher still sees importance and enjoyment in reading.

I think [reading] is important because we are very addicted to our phones and something that isn’t social media is good for us.”

— PHS junior Emma Bucher

“[Reading] is really fun and I like to create movies in my head,”  Bucher said. “Plus, I think [reading] is important because we are very addicted to our phones and something that isn’t social media is good for us.” 

Though it may seem that online media is to blame for the reduction in readers, technology provides a way for individuals to still absorb literature in less traditional ways. Audiobooks are a great example.

“I listen to audiobooks a lot because I don’t always have the patience to sit down with a book,” Bucher said. “With audiobooks though, I can just listen.”

Audiobooks allow for much more freedom than sitting down to read a physical copy of a book. Hoopla is an online library and streaming service that Bucher recommends for individuals interested in audiobooks. 

“People think they need to decipher Shakespeare when they read, but there are books for everything regardless of what you’re into,” Bucher said. “[Reading is] more interesting than you’d think.”