Dear America: Never Stop Reading

Do we really need reading to go electronic?



Recently, statistics have shown adults are reading less and less

Emma Logue, Staff Writer

Literature has been a long time staple of a person’s upbringing, schooling and culture. With public libraries and bookstores, books have become increasingly available. And with the addition of the internet and technology, you can have the world’s library at your fingertips.

But reading has been declining in the last decades, with less and less people finding interest in it. Reading At Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a report from the National Endowment for the Arts, finds that from 1982 to 2002, there has been a ten percent decline in adult readers. 

A table from “Reading At Risk A Survey of Literary Reading in America” (From National Endowment for the Arts)

While I do not consider myself a bookworm, I appreciate reading a few new books per year. But when I was younger, I would love trips to my local library or, even better, the little stage in the kid’s section of Barnes of Noble. 

Reading was a hobby that I grew up with, and I think it had a big impact on my education, not only just because I was learning to focus and analyze books, but it helped me discover my interests.

Because of the impact it had on me, I believe reading is a hobby all kids should have. It would be hypocritical of me to encourage everyone to read dozens, since even I don’t often have the time or mindset to read that many, but I do believe a few novels a year is always a good thing. 

Healthline has an article listing the seven ways books help you. From expanding your vocabulary, exposing you to different cultures, and improving brain health, it’s hard to argue that reading has any downsides on people. 

But the book industry does have negative effects on the environment. Eco Bravo encourages readers to switch from paper books to e-books. Books have negative impacts on trees, and paper requires lots of water to produce. 

However, paper books have their positives. Sam Holstein reviews how paper books are better than e-books, but you can find plenty of sources arguing the opposite. End of the day, it seems to just come down to personal preference. It’s the green choice vs. the classic. 

For myself, I’ve always taken a paper over an e-book. I find that paper books make me feel more invested, and I get a better reading experience.


7 Scientific Benefits of Reading Printed Books stated “One recent study of college students in the U.S., Slovakia, Japan, and Germany showed that 92% of participants preferred actual books that they can hold and touch and leaf through whenever they please.”

While this study is limited to college students, most people I know have a preference for printed over electronic books. Because of this, one can assume that the printed-book industry won’t be dying as soon as some predict. 

But the deforestation, carbon emissions; shouldn’t we just make the change to the more green option?

 I’ve been conflicted on whether I should try to read less paper and more e-books. But no matter the book, I always find that I have a more enjoyable experience reading paper books. Books that I’ve read both paper and electronically have been more exciting and better page-turners when read as a paper book. 

Most of the time, when I read, it’s before I go to bed at night. But reading e-books on my phone means I’m staring at blue light, and most people know of the downsides using a phone has on your sleep. Besides reading experience, this is the prime factor of my choice to read paper books preferred to e-books.

One can read their paper book while wallowing in self pity and guilt, but there’s another way to have read paper books if you prefer them to e-books. Sutton Public Library  has a selection of books, including audio and digital. And of course, students of Sutton have access to all that the school library has to offer.

Massachusetts Libraries answers the question of accessing other public libraries: “In most cases, residents of Massachusetts can borrow from any public library in the state. If your library is a member of a larger library network (for instance, Minuteman or C/W MARS), you can use your library card to borrow materials at any other library in that network.” For more info on Massachusetts public libraries, you can access the FAQ page.

There are also many sites where one can purchase second-hand books, so they can end up owning the book they want but do not need to purchase a new copy. eBay, Amazon, and thriftbooks are popular sites used for purchasing both new and used books.

You can also go the other way, donating old books that you have no need for now, or selling them on the sites above. The Salvation Army and Goodwill are two popular donations centers that accept books as well as other belongings, such as clothes.

So, America, whether you are a book connoisseur, casual book worm, or the occasional school textbook user, let’s never forget the importance reading has on people young and old. Reading is a great hobby to have both for the benefits it has on the brain and just simply learning from your material. Maybe it’s time we all take twenty minutes off our electronic devices and sit down with a good book.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to read more often. I don’t know how successful I will be, but while researching for this article I feel more motivated to pursue the goal. Even though I don’t read as much as I did when I was eight, I know that books will always provide me a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

Just not AP Human Geography textbooks.