Declines in Youth’s Free Time Reading and Skills

Free Time Reading Declines, Education Week (2008), (visited November 18, 2008).

            Fewer American youths spend their free time reading than the youths of a generation ago.  This decrease in leisure reading will likely have negative effects on “academic performance, job prospects, civic participation, and even social well-being.”  One factor that has contributed to the decline of leisure reading is schools’ failure to “instill a love of reading” in the students.  In addition, it is “not merely the frequency of reading” that is endangered, “but the ability to read as well.” 

       The report “To Read or Not to Read: A Question” of National Consequence” states that Americans aged 18 to 24 years “are spending less time reading”, “their reading-comprehension skills are eroding” ; and these “declines have serious civic, social, cultural, and economic implications.”  Less than twenty-five percent of 17-year-olds read voluntarily every day, and Americans between the ages for 15 to 24 spend ten minutes or less daily voluntarily reading.  The report states further that there is a “significant correlation” between reading and success in both academics and in a person’s career.  

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