Decreased Reading Among Americans: Are Screens to Blame?

Pew Research (2015) reported that 27% of Americans have not read a single book in the past year and an average American read about 12 books in a year (data included print and ebooks). If you do the math, an average American read only 1 book per month which is very low compared to past couple of years.


So what is really going on that we are keeping away from books? Are our smart phones, laptops, TVs stealing out time from reading?


Now when you walk into any schools or at home we see that student lives are preoccupied by screens including smartphones, tablets, laptops and TV. We have so many different mediums to read but we choose not to read but instead consume information that is mainly gossip or advertisements. The valuable information that comes from books are no longer enriching our minds. Rather we spend time on social media sites and some blogs. Even though blogs make us read, they may not communicate the same type and level of information that books do. Some education blogs and news blogs are an exception to the rule.


We can change this so that our generation and future generations to come can get on with reading. Here are a couple of suggestions that parents, students, or adults themselves can implement in their own lives to ensure that they are not lagging behind on reading:


  • As a parent, read to your children from early on. Children love when their parents read to them aloud. Later on in life, they are more likely to pick up a book themselves.


  • People are more likely to read a book that they picked out themselves. This is a big lesson for schools and teachers who keep assigning primarily Shakespeare reading. ¬†Many students report not being able to relate to a book because the time period that the book is written in does not match with the time period in which they are brought up. Hence, students just hate/give up on reading all together.


  • An average person spends approximately 7 hours daily in front of a screen so when can they read? Set aside time to routinely read even if it is just 20 minutes per day. For example, read 20 minutes before bedtime. Make sure you read about a topic that is interesting to you.


  • Class reading time at schools has been cut down from previous years. Parents can hire a private tutor through to read with their children and discuss the book. The discussions following a reading chapter of a book helps children think about what they read, have opinions, think outside the box, make connection to real life, and facilitate intellectual growth. Tutoring can be in person or online so long as it is serving the same purpose.


  • Sign up for a book club locally. This makes you read the book that others are reading and then meet back to discuss.


  • Read news articles online such as New York Times, CNN, or a local newspaper. Make sure they are actual news not just gossip blogs. Smart phones, laptops, and Tablets are a great way to do this.


  • Set a goal to buy or borrow (from library) 2 books either ebooks or print books every month to read. This encourages you to pick it up and finish it before the month end.


  • Limit the time you spend in front of the screen so that you actually have time to read. This will help with reading books in Print rather than on a screen.

For all your reading tutoring needs, please contact Phoenix Tutoring & Test Prep at 773-386-3184. You can also visit to buy lessons. We provide one on one online tutoring throughout United States. We provide in-person tutoring in Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa (Arizona).







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