Pushing for Written Text Extinction, or Encouraging Reading?

Pew Research Center  completed a survey to find out how those under 30 engage with libraries and think about libraries’ role in their communities, there findings were not surprising to myself as a milennial and an avid reader, but to others it came as a shock. In the article Millennials Are Reading More Books Than You Think They Are the findings are summed up.

“43% of all people under the age of 30 read a book almost every day, with that number increasing to just under 70% if you increase the time span to once a week, the highest percentage of any age group to do so.”

I thought it was pretty interesting that we are actually reading more now than ever before, and I wanted to know if E-Books were to thank and what the findings really said.

The findings:

Millennials’ lives are full of technology, but they are more likely than their elders
to say that important information is not available on the internet.

The PEW report writes, Despite their embrace of technology, 62% of Americans under age 30 agree there is “a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the internet,” compared with 53% of older Americans who believe that. I took this statistic and looked into my own personal life. My mother actually despises technology, she has had a computer for almost 5 years, and only just began using it regularly, she still uses a land line and does not own a cell phone or tablet of any kind; however, she thinks Google is the answer to anything. Since her discovery of Google she turns to it for any question, or idea she has. She loves books, she will read everything and would never ever use an E Reader or tablet but she is so fond of Google and it has quickly come to replace the Encyclopedias that she used to make me go through when I was in middle school begging her to buy a computer. So I think that there is a difference in the amount of Millennials who value information outside of technology compared to the older generations.

Millennials are quite similar to their elders when it comes to the amount of book
reading they do, but young adults are more likely to have read a book in the past 12

Pew writes that some 43% report reading a book—in any format—on a daily basis, a rate similar to older adults. Overall, 88% of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, compared with 79% of those age 30 and older. This shows that there is no decline of readings as some people suggest. In the article, Why Aren’t Teens Reading Like They Used To? Jennifer Ludden says, “the digital revolution means there are more platforms than ever to read on. And yet, the number of American teens reading for pleasure has dropped dramatically. ” I wonder if Ludden and Pew have gone over statistics together? Contradictions.

From what I understand, older generations do not have faith in millennials. Everyone is so quick to say that as the future of this world we are not doing a very good job.

In the video above, millennial’s apologize (very sarcastically) for sucking and shift the blame back onto our parents. Whatever the argument, comparing any generation to one another is not a good idea and definitely an entire other blog.

Now that we have the research to back up the fact that millennial’s are in fact reading, I want to know if we are reading more because of EBooks such as Kindle and Nook and what that means for written text. So bear with me for a moment while we shift gears.

People reading with e-books is becoming a more common sight, but print books don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

According to another article from PEW, about 28 percent of American adults read at least one e-book last year, up from 23 percent in 2012. Nearly 70 percent say they read a print book, which is actually up four percent from 2012.


Chris Edwards, an Indiana social studies teacher, has a different perspective on the whole subject. Instead of it being EBook against Print Book, he feels that it’s actually just an update saying, “I see it as an update, not simply of the book, but of the library” I really agree with that idea. Kindles can help address the challenges of students with vision problems, language barriers, and lack of reading fluency, educators say, so we shouldn’t write them off as destroying books as we know it.

Our society is going through a change, actually a multitude of changes and technology is making things possible that we didnt even know were possible in the past. If E-readers such as Kindle have the opportunity to not only keep us up with times but promote reading fluency then we shouldn’t write them off just yet.

Millenials are reading in an digital age where we are so distracted by technology so we should be thanking these platforms for making that possible. I love my Kindle, I download textbooks on it so I can cut some of the costs of college, but I also have plenty of pleasure novels on it for when I travel or need a good book, but that does not mean I am anti book. I still love a good library visit, I still love the smell of an old book. In this situation you can have your cake and eat it too; I have come to the conclusion that there is no right or wrong in this situation. Everything needs to work together for the better of society and for the future.


2 thoughts on “Pushing for Written Text Extinction, or Encouraging Reading?

  1. In the study, I wonder if they specifically asked if children, students, young adults were reading books for pleasure or if they simply asked if they read a book? Also I would also question if they did this on their own free will. One statistic said that 88% percent of people under 30 read a book in the past year. My guess is that the 22% that didn’t are those that are no longer in school. Most elementary schools ask children to carry around a spare book with them to read on down time, or they are required to keep a reading log; in some schools children are required to read at least 20 minutes per night and parents must sign off that their child did so. I don’t think these statistics are as promising as they seem.


  2. I find it really humorous that your mom seems to be anti-technology, except for Google. My dad finally switched from a flip phone with no text messaging to an iPhone about two years ago, but he still says he somewhat hates it; yet when he wants to know an answer to something, he says, “why don’t you Google it?” I think that adults will eventually start using and like technology more because they will soon realize how much easier it can make their life be.


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