Do Students Still Read – For Fun?


Ihsaan Fanusie, News Editor

It’s an old adage that seems to appear every generation: kids just don’t read like they used to. But exactly how true is it at Wilde Lake?
Do students read books outside of school?

For some, the answer is yes.        

Kate Giammalvo, a senior, loves reading because it can expand one’s knowledge beyond their own personal experience.

“I think reading gives you a more broad perspective of the human experience,” she said.

“If you don’t read any books than you will only live your one life. If you read more books, you get to experience more things that you would not experience otherwise.”

For Kate, reading is as enjoyable as any other pastime people spend time on. Though many stressed the limited amount of time they had as an obstacle for outside reading, Kate sees it more as a ‘free-time’ activity than a chore.

“I try and read one book every week or every two weeks,” she said. “And if I’m really into a book, then I’ll read it all just at once.”

Other students cited time constraints as a major factor in limiting the amount of books they read.           

Freshman Josh Alvarez said that he is too busy focused on other stuff to devote time to reading a book outside of class. He does, however, read the books in his English class. He thinks that schools help encourage students to read by creating a class exclusively for reading books.

Perhaps most of today’s youth don’t read books for fun, but the question remains: is it a new problem or a generational one?

Studies suggest that the lack of reading to this extent is unique to the ‘generation Z’.

Reading rates decline as kids age, according to a 2014 study by Common Sense media,  Additionally, reading rates have declined since the 1980s. Charlotte Atler of TIME Magazine reported of the same study: “In 1984, 8% of 13-year-olds and 9% of 17-year-olds said they “never” or “hardly ever” read for pleasure. In 2014, that number had almost tripled, to 22% and 27%.”


Teachers at Wilde Lake have stressed that it is still important to read books outside of school.

“It’s a great escape,” said Mr. Miller, an English teacher. “It’s an escape from technology and phones. Also, The more people read the better they become at writing.”

The theme of more reading contributing to better writing was an important factor in the minds of teachers.

“I think you become a better writer the more you read,” said English teacher Mrs. Read.  “The more that your read the more your able to diversify your interests and your scope of skills when it comes to writing.”

Students and teachers at Wilde Lake are committed to getting more people to read for fun.

“If we give students more exposure to different kinds of things that they might like then students might be more excited about reading outside of school” said Giammalvo.

Mr Miller also stressed the need to expose students to books related to their interests.

“It all depends on what their interested in” he said. “I can’t make you read something if you don’t read it.”

Ms. Gottlieb, another English teacher believes it is her duty to reintroduce the joy of reading. One solution proposed was promoting the school’s book club, of which several students were not aware.

Zelalem Azara, a freshman who says he doesn’t find the time to read outside of class, expressed the desire for a more prominent and involved book club.

Mrs. Read had additional advice for students trying to read for leisure more.

“Look at how your using your time. “Find a set amount of time- whether its 15 minutes, 30 minutes- and try to do it everyday.”

“If you could spend 10 minutes a day reading,” said Mrs. Read. “Before you know it, you’re going to want 15. And then your going to want 20. And you’ll find a way to make that happen.”