What would make them read more?

 

Strategies for Choice
Time spent reading is an investment, therefore it is important to choose the right type of book before investing.

There have been studies that show not a lot of students are equipped with strategies for selecting books and are unaware of currently existing tools to help them support their search. While some students are heavily dependent on parent or friend recommendations, many students had little opportunity to gain knowledge of books and authors, as their closest social influences were not actively engaged in book reading, underpinning the importance of effective strategies for choice and exposure to a broad range of different authors and genres.

Explicitly teaching choosing strategies may increase the number of positive matches between students and books.

 
Access to attractive, relevant and diverse books

Once appropriate choosing strategies have been acquired, students need ready access to interesting books that are both attractive and diverse. The look of the book, encompassing book size, colour and cover, and even the title font, influenced their choice.

Authors, publication companies should ensure that the design and the aesthetic appeal of the books must align with the right demographics, as it can do wonders in attracting publics.

 
Time availability

Some students were genuinely unable to read books for recreation due to heavy non-recreational commitments, including paid work, sibling care and a substantial load of schoolwork.

Schools need to incorporate silent reading into their schedule, that will enable them to utilise their available time in an appropriate manner and without the hindrances of external activities after school.

 
Time allocation

Many students did not read because they chose not to, making the decision to allocate their allotted recreation time into more appealing pursuits. The ready availability of technology within their immediate domestic sphere and an apparent lack of restriction on their use of technology enabled many students to spend the majority of their recreation time as screen time, whether on a computer, phone, tablet or TV.

Parents need to install a period of abstinence from electronic devices which could increase the likelihood that time would be allocated to recreational book reading in the absence of screen-based alternatives.

 

Concentration

It is apparent that concentration is the prime reason that significantly affect some students’ inclinations not only to initially engage in the book reading process but to sustain reading for more than a short period of time. Literate students may struggle with the cognitive demands of book reading, and this may discourage them from regularly undertaking the practice.

Media multitasking that involves engaging in more than one screen-based activity simultaneously: for example, watching television and texting, or watching music videos on a tablet while Instant Messaging, can be cited as a reason to cause problems in the nature of human cognition that can create hazards in concentration when reading books.

 
Encouragement
Parents, teachers, friends and peers potentially influence students to engage in recreational book reading more regularly. The current generation of adolescents is characterised by a social nature and a subsequent craving for interactivity. Now, more than ever, students need the chance to talk about books in a supportive environment. Educators can create platforms for peer encouragement on a broader scale. Home environment can act as a catalyst to support the initial engagement and transform it as a daily activity.

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Something is Missing

What is missing in these pictures?

 

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A couple of kids, in their bedroom, fully engaged with a tablet.

 

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People sitting on an Aeroplane with their own tapes while some dozed off and others stare at a small movie screen.

 

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Family members with their smartphones on a dinner table.

 

 

What is missing from these pictures, and increasingly from our lives is the activity through which we learned the most of what we know of the world. What’s missing is the knowledge and information that forms our patterns of thought. What’s missing is the absolute factor that progresses the underlying growth and development of the young.

Now that importance of culture is established. We need the reading more than ever. Instead of asking others what they have read lately, people nowadays assume that nobody gets much time to read books. How did this come to happen?

Books the oldest form of print had been so prominent in our history that we could have hardly seen it coming but the problem does not lie with the publication since publishers are constantly churning out books (133,196 new titles listed in “Books in Print” in the past year) but on our change in the habit of reading. The modern-day readers read with the only goal and that is to gain a quick, conversation-enhancing topic as they try to skim through the words. The habit of reading rapidly has been a major factor in the decline of the traditional way of reading. Similarly, the newspaper that once was the morning ritual of every household has been affected significantly by the change. What’s more interesting is that young people are losing the newspaper habit even faster than their parents. “We are developing a generation that has no interest in reading except insofar as it is assigned in school,” concludes Daniel Kevles, professor of humanities at Caltech. There is a general lack of public affairs among the students.

The technological revolution is unstoppable but that does not mean the old order should fade away with it. Even though electronic media has taken over print media, we need to understand the intellectual and seriousness quotient it has on art, education, religion, politics and journalism. Reading is central to our culture. It is connected to virtually all the forces that shaped our culture. The question, as we leave the age of print for the uncharted waters of this new electronic age, is whether we risk losing much of what reading enabled us to gain.
Share your opinions and thoughts with us through comments or use the hashtag #risethroughreading on social media.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

-Paras Agarwal

Unveil the Magic of the Books

Books contain the power to transform you. It creates a shift in your mental state that illuminates every present brain cells to give you the ultimate gift. Sounds magical right? Yes. But in order to achieve this kind of tranquillity, one needs to understand and obey the fundamental law- ‘read to read’. The law states that to witness such a condition one needs to create an affection towards the habit of reading. The magic only works when you immerse yourself in a book, criticising and forming your own thoughts and opinion as you read while forging a relationship between yourself and the author.

For someone quite naive to such a notion, it is quite understandable that these arguments might sound illogical and flawed. Also for someone who has witnessed such an epiphany, but might not have come to terms with the underlying feelings or is quite reluctant or confused to put in words. Here is a list of unspoken benefits that might change your perspective on how you see reading and give you a profound insight on how you can change your life without moving a physical muscle.

Self-Knowledge: What would it feel like when you found a part of yourself? You may cry, smile or wince and just take a while to sink in the moment of self-realisation. When you read, and you find a piece of information that connects to you or speak to your soul – you feel enlightened. You feel like somehow the author has given you the one thing that you had been searching your whole life. The words written by unlikely stranger creates a bridge for you to meet the most important person in the world- yourself.

Empathy: When you invest your time in listening to someone’s thoughts, you create an empathy towards them. When you read, the book provides a portal for you to jump into the author’s mind and make you care enough to truly listen to their musings. Even if you don’t like their opinions, you exercise your mind to open up and understand their shortcomings and reasons behind them.

Humility: When you let go of your ego, you can truly open your eyes to see that there are things much bigger than you, there are people much smarter than you and you are just a tiny part of the giant universe. Reading books make you accept these facts, and open up a window of this universe for you to explore and engage.

Presence: The practice of mindfulness has been there for centuries and a lot of has been said regarding its benefits. Meditation is widely considered to be the way this practice can be cultivated, but it is not the only way. When you dig into a book that has caught your attention, time ceases to exist, your attention span increases tenfold and the only thing that matters to you in that moment are the words written on that book. Your worry, fears and anguished gets boxed away into a container labelled ‘for later’ and the only worry you have is to flip to the next page.

Joy: If anything has to stick, it needs to be enjoyable. The act of doing anything that is boring and blatant should be stopped. Reading can be tiresome and dull, only when it’s challenging or your interest does not match with the book’s content. Read books that jog up your brain and ignite a sense of enjoyment. When you do this, the joy that comes with it has no bounds. Read what enriches you and your life will be changed because of it.

The power is real. You just need to dive right into it.

If you are one of those people, that have been struck by the magical prowess of reading books, we would like you to share your stories and encourage fellow beings especially young people to enter the book realm and show them that the magic of books is real. Use the hashtag #risethroughreading on social media to voice your thoughts and follow our other social media accounts for more content.

                                 -Paras Agarwal