The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

Are books being forgotten?

Jazmin Lara Mota
People have busy lives so they seek for short pieces of entertainment rather than a book.

In 2022, California was ranked to have the lowest level of literacy in the US. Only 77% of Californian adults were thought to be mildly to highly literate. This was not surprising at all to the rest of the states since it has always been clear to see California’s education system hasn’t been doing well. According to National Assessments of Educational Progress, California’s reading performance is near the bottom compared to other states.

It can be considered a bit frightening or surprising that one in four people over the age of 15 lack the basic skills of reading and writing. The reason behind this could be because there is a lack of people reading and using books the same way they used to in the past. Due to poor education systems, the rapid advancement of technology, and possibly because we don’t need books the same way we needed them in the past. What does that mean for our futures?

District Librarian for Santa Ana Unified District, Tamara Davis expresses how she feels about this matter as a person in the education system.

“People’s lives are improved by reading,” Davis said.

Davis believes that people’s lives can actually be improved by reading. As a person with more knowledge about this topic, she expresses how people can learn how to view perspectives other than their own.

“It helps us connect with ourselves,” Davis said.

Since there are many books that exist there is bound to be one that you can relate too and see yourself in. She also makes it a point that reading is an essential thing for our mental and emotional health and makes humanity good which allows space for personal growth. Davis is understandably a big reader because she views the new knowledge she gets as rewarding because she gets to know more things about the world.

“People just don’t know as many things now,” Davis said.

Most people don’t have much knowledge about things in the world as they did in the past, despite so much information being at our fingertips. Instead of reading a whole book that would require a time commitment that most people don’t have because of their busy lives or they just don’t have that much patience, we have our screens. She believes that there must be a balance between the worlds of books and screens, and she isn’t the only one that believes that.

Chyna Tran is an English teacher here at MCHS and also believes there should be a balance between technology and books.

“Ultimately, balance is key,” Tran said.

As an active teacher of our future generations, she expresses how people don’t read as much as they did in the past. And if somebody does read, it typically might be an assigned reading from school or because they’ve lost access to their technology. In statements that basically agree with Davis’ views, Tran believes that due to the lack of people reading books in society, there has been a decline in patience, empathy, knowledge, vocabulary and more.

“Technology is entertainment that viewers and users are able to absorb mindlessly that has superseded books,” said Tran

That could lead to the problem that people have too short of an attention span to sit down and read a book. Tran is not denying that she is an active user of technology because it is such an attention grabbing source of short but endless entertainment, plus it is everywhere. But she still makes it an essential part of her everyday life to read, whether it’s for her own entertainment or to further her knowledge.

“I advocate for the use of technology while simultaneously highlighting the importance of reading physical literature and texts. There are benefits to both platforms,” said Tran.

There are disadvantages for both, but it is true that if technology completely took over it would cause a more massive decline in our quality of life than if physical books took over. She stated that ultimately all of this could be the fault of the government and our society. It is important to remember that while we may talk about our society, ultimately, we are society. But what about the perspective of someone who actively dislikes reading?

Freshman Bella Arnold, is one of many students who don’t find much enjoyment in reading at all.

“I am a part of the people who don’t read. I read online rarely but overall I don’t like to read,” Arnold said.

She herself is a part of the people that prefer their phones in search of short and fast-paced entertainment. She believes that education systems that force reading upon students are one of the active causes of why younger kids dislike reading so much. Furthermore, she also believes that in the past books were used mainly for informational purposes, but now most books read are for entertainment. She also believes that this lack of reading in the modern day is an active cause for the fact that people have poor writing and grammar skills. As well as that the reason for this is because of common technology like phones, so they’ll prefer to receive their entertainment from their devices.

“I think that if you know what interests you, even if you dislike reading you could still find yourself entertained by reading short stories or articles,” said Arnold.

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About the Contributor
Jazmin Lara Mota
Jazmin Lara Mota, Staff Writer
I like listening to music, I like drawing and making art, and I like going on walks.