To read or not to read: readers and non-readers tell their sides of the story

Reading is boring.

Some teenagers would agree with this since not all teens enjoy reading.

According to Jan Cole, librarian at the Duncan Public Library, many of these students were not interested in books by the time they learned to read.

“I think the excitement has to be there,” she said. “If that’s not there when they start learning to read, they don’t know what the excitement’s about.”

Bea LeValley, librarian of the Emerson and Mark Twain elementary school’s libraries, has a different take on this matter.

“I’ve always said that a child is not born loving books and reading or hating books and not reading,” she said, “Something along the way changes for them.”

For some children, reading is a struggle. Cole said the literacy council at her library can help those for whom it is hard. Although many of them are learning English, the council is there to build confidence in people’s reading. They take ages 16 and up but are willing to take those who are younger, especially if one’s native language is not English.

For sophomore Hannah Eaglin this isn’t the case.

“When I was three or four … I always wanted read, and then I loved it,” she said. “I was always advanced in elementary school, and I had less and less time. I just don’t really have interest in it. I’d rather write from my own life instead of reading something else.”

This proves LeValley’s train of thought.

“I think sometimes reading is the thing that gets sacrificed for sports or music or friends or video games or whatever it is,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest thing that turns them away.”

Other things have caused teenagers to stop reading as well. For junior Jarrett Green, being forced to read for tests and other things caused it to become boring for him. Senior Tyler VanOven dislikes reading for a different reason.

“At a point I did like it, but then it just got boring,” he said. “I’m an active person; I like to get out and do things. I don’t like sitting somewhere for long periods of time.”

LeValley is personally hopeful the Kindles, Nooks and other tablets will increase the number of readers in the world.

“I just want to say if somebody doesn’t like to read to come to the library and just explore because there is so much more than just books and just reading,” Cole said.

She went on to say that some of the other options besides reading a book include audio books, graphic novels and magazines. One doesn’t even have to read all the words of any particular story but simply skim.

Senior Jessica Haas loves to read and gives advice for others to read as well.

“Try one book that your friend might suggest to read, and read it,” she said. “Friends usually like the same thing, so you might like it, too.”