It does make sense when you hear of survey results indicating that reading is on the decline, and is generally more popular with the more wealthy, but it’s still a pity when you see the hard fast results. A recent survey of 1500 by Booktrust outlines this, and how those with a richer-background not only do more reading but enjoy it, and see it as a positive thing that will enhance their life.

Infact this is one of the things that really stands out from the survey – that those who do read more genuinely want to and are satisfied in doing so, rather than seeing it as a chore. Another trend is the boredom factor, that those who for whatever reason don’t don’t stick at it for long and are easily drawn to more entertaining methods of education like TV and the internet.

Technology has of course played a big part in this, both directly and the types of devices now available to make reading more ‘easy’ or even bypass the need for reading, but also indirectly in the sense that gadgets and technology making people’s life better in other areas will have a knock on effect of them wanting to do less reading.

Personally, I think reading is under-rated, and we should all be making more of an effort to read, myself included. The reality of modern life though is that it does get side-tracked, missed, and ‘diluted’ in the way we do this. We probably need to work at advertising the merits of reading and make sure that it is easily done using modern means yet still trying to insist on the quality. So here’s a few radical ideas to maybe help achieve this:


1. Ban blatant false advertising. There’s one advertiser who’s message was that it was Ok to NOT be patient, that ‘impatience’ was a virtue. They were drilling into that readers/hearers the uncontrolable feeling to buy their product without waiting for things like being able to afford it – very wrong.

2. Make paper reading sexy. Not literally, but more per-zaz so that people like the idea and feel of a real book rather than using a screen and kindle. You can scribble your own notes, savour the smell and feel of the book, and easily keep them kicking around for easy reference.

3. Educate on the types of reading. So yes in some cases it’s important to scan-read things, and learn the ability to quickly glaze over information in this busy world, particularly in the internet and news. But in others it needs quality time, involving your own study and say reading several books on a matter rather than relying on an article from Google.