The digital age ushered in a new era of readily available information but also managed to disturb the concentration level of people, especially teenagers, who are finding it hard to pick up a good book and take out the time to read it from cover to cover. The continuous stream of information from media means that incoming information has to be soaked in and digested immediately before a fresh wave of information breaks on the shore of our consciousness. Add social media to the long list of teenage distractions and you will have a generation that has to learn how to process information fast. Today, teenagers will choose to watch a movie based on a story book rather than picking up the original book first and reading it through in order to spark their imagination in amazing ways. Here we will discuss some ways in which we can get children to read in this digital age by providing them with good books for teens to read or allowing them to choose for themselves.
Reading Trend Among Teenagers
The reading trend among teenagers in the United States (US) has declined over the past few years owing to different reasons. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center in this regard showed that approximately 25% of American adults had not read a single book in 2013. The current percentage has tripled since 1978.
On the other hand, the same research also acknowledged the fact that the number of younger people who read books for personal pleasures has stopped declining over the past few years. For all people who believe that the reading habits of our teenagers are in danger, the above mentioned fact should be enough for the time being to let all parents breathe a sigh of relief. Most adults have pointed fingers at the Internet, television, and advanced mobile communication technology for being responsible for the decline in reading culture among youth in the US.
The Hollywood Influence
A recent phenomenon taking place inside Hollywood has less to do with original scripts and more to do with movie adaptations of renowned literary writings. It is more like a solid partnership between Hollywood and the book industry in order to recreate the magic of words into amazing visuals on the big screen.
Apart from converting books into movies, Hollywood has also been responsible for adapting comic books for the big screen. On the surface this might seem as a very useless idea since a good number of parents blame this trend on the declining culture of reading among their teenage children, but things are a bit different when you see the development from a different angle. Teenagers are known to buy the original books that were converted by Hollywood into grand movies, and they even read these books to make comparisons between words and visuals.
Moreover, authors like J.K. Rowling, John Green, Suzanne Collins, and Veronica Roth are real life examples of the successful writing careers in the digital age. Young children and teenagers love these authors because most of them still enjoy privileged positions on the best seller lists. These writers are also known for regularly interacting with young readership via different social networking options to feel the pulse of the younger generation.
Handling a Reluctant Reader
In the end, the entire responsibility of grooming children and educating them rests with the parents. It is certainly up to the parents to help their kids develop good reading habits that would serve them well throughout their lifetime. Following are some ideas to encourage your teen kids to develop an interest in books.
Between Bookstores and Cinemas: If a teenager is more interested in watching a movie adaptation of a book, parents should take them to the cinema to watch the movie. There is every kind of possibility that your kids would love the movie and be curious about the details of the story that could only be found in books. Mind you, curiosity is a great gift when used wisely.
In Love with the Phone: Teenagers and mobile phones are inseparable in this digital age. What should parents do under these circumstances? The best way to go is to introduce your teenage offspring to e-books that are available in large numbers and most are free. There’s no need to deprive your children from smartphones and tablets because you only have to direct them in the right direction.
Attending Literary Events: Parents who take their children to literary events are not only giving them a break from the hassle of technology but are also allowing them to discover a treasure of new literature that they might find interesting. Such events are also a good way to socialize with like-minded people and make the most out of these opportunities.