If there’s anything I can cite to that explains why reading is falling off in popularity with the youth of today, I would cite to the Reading Log. For some reason, teachers have decided to make students catalog every tiny bit of reading they do, and then grade them on how correctly they catalog their reading. So my daughter, who used to read for pleasure, already has started to consider reading a chore. She has a reading log to fill out during the day for books she reads during school, and one for books she reads at home. I haven’t seen her pick up a book for fun since she started middle school a few weeks ago.
I think this is great. Think of all the savings! We already spend way too much on books. If she is taught to hate reading, we’ll get to cut our book budget by 25%. When our youngest gets to middle school, we’ll cut our budget fully in half. If my teachers had managed to grind the love of reading out of me, I wouldn’t be wasting all this time writing and reading books. I could be playing video games and incessantly tweeting instead.
Even longer term, think of all the money I’ll save on college. She loved elementary school, so I was certain that she’d want to go to college. She wanted to go to Yale Drama School. By the time she’s finished with middle school, she’ll probably want to get a GED and go to beauty school. More money for my retirement!
Way to go, teachers. Keep grinding kids into the dust. Keep punishing them for their reading. Keep making reading a horrid chore rather than a break from school work. Within 20 years, we can guarantee that the book industry dies completely, and save all the trees.