There is no doubt that nowadays children and teenagers would not choose the book as the best present as it was the case a few decades ago when Russia was considered ‘the most reading country in the world’. What has happened? Why has reading stopped being attractive to children? What consequences can this loss of reading skills have?
I find this problem extremely urgent and would like to express my viewpoint.
Let us see what happens when we read or in other words what it means ‘to read’. Reading is looking at a series of written symbols and getting meaning from them. When we read, we use our eyes to receive written symbols (letters, punctuation marks and spaces) and we use our brain to convert them into words, sentences and paragraphs that communicate something to us. When reading, people practise their intelligence and ability to think, imagine, generalize, analyze, etc. That is why when children do not read enough, they do not develop their intellect as reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Books give children the samples of right and wrong behavior in various situations getting them prepared for future life. They enrich young minds with both theoretical and practical knowledge building the foundation of their personalities.
<p>Books are special links between generations and we find wisdom of previous ages coming to us in concentrated form. We should not let this link break as that may threaten the existence of civilization itself and we will have to invent the wheel again!<p>
Still, we need to understand that new technology changed our world and influenced all spheres of present day life. Television, computer, Internet, smart phones, social network brought the habit of using pictures and videos more often than before, and images started to prevail in the perceiving information by modern youngsters. That is why they are often called ‘the clip-minded generation’. Types of reading have changed too. The amount of information that both children and adults of the 21st century have to process every day has increased a lot. The texts they read have become much shorter and took the forms of e-mails, short messages, blogs and twits. Schoolchildren of today do not have time to read long novels of classical literature and they try to confine themselves to reading a summary or a review of them on the Internet. Unfortunately the only way to make their pupils get acquainted with masterpieces of Russian classical literature for school teachers is often to let them see screened versions of these works. What makes things worse is cutting lessons of literature in the curricula of modern Russian schools.
What can be done to improve the situation?
Reading should be encouraged in all possible ways by all members of community, including the government.
There should be a world net of modern and well-equipped libraries which would be used as intellectual leisure centres for young people where they could read and discuss books on line with their peers all over the world.
Publishing companies should change the format of books they publish and topics raised in them to make them attractive and accessible for young people.
The profession of a writer should grow into one of the most prestigious and well-paid so that every boy or girl would dream to become a writer.
To sum up, I believe that reading is a basis of education, and if to paraphrase Aristotle, he who is not educated does not live.