Who’s to blame for teenagers not reading?

9MRC1“14% of children in lower income homes rarely or never read books for pleasure.” ~ Reading Agency

There is a direct relation to reading for pleasure and becoming wealthy. (Or not reading for pleasure and becoming poor.) Studies have been done since the 1960’s to prove this theory.

Here are three facts about reading for pleasure and earning money:

“The biggest single indicator to thrive at school or work is reading for pleasure.” ~ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

“Studies have shown that active readers have annual incomes more than 5 times greater than those who spend little or no time reading.” ~ N2Growth

“Reading for pleasure helps clarify career goals.” ~ Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

Who is to blame for the lack of passion in reading, especially for teens?

There’s two different kinds of reading.

~ Reading for knowledge. (Which is primarily done in schools.)

~ Reading for wisdom. (Which is done on your own without being told.)

You can’t blame schools, teachers, or school boards, because books and reading programs are provided for students. (Which equates to knowledge.)

It’s said that schools are making reading assignments too difficult, but you wouldn’t expect a business to lower productivity and service because the new crop of teenagers that will be hired for a job are reading less.

Perhaps eBooks are the answer? Nope.

“4% of Americans only read eBooks. Printed books are still the favorite.” ~ PEW Research, Wall Street Journal, PBS (And many other resources.)

Maybe Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are to blame? We should get rid of iPhones, texting, iPads, iPods, social media, and the Internet.

Thinking like that would disrupt creation, invention, and unique ideas to benefit others.

Are parents to blame? Shouldn’t they be forcing children to read?

It’s the opposite. Reading for pleasure should come naturally and not forced by parents.

“90% of children and teens say that their favorite books are the ones they pick out for themselves. (90% will also finish a book they picked out.)” ~ PEW Research

When it comes down to it, there’s one person to blame…ME.

This includes all authors that are writing books for teens. Here’s a simple fact: “If teenagers are not picking up a book on their own to read for fun, then authors have yet to write books that relates, benefits, and entertains the teenager of this generation.”

Perhaps then a better question is this, “What do teenagers want to read?”

If the author really wants to adapt, then books need to be written and published based on these factors:

~ SPEED. Teenagers are entertained by texts, Tweets, posts, snapchat, and other short burst activities.

~ IMAGINATION. “54% of children and teens want books that let them use their imagination.” ~ PEW Research

If a book is built on speed and imagination, then what should it look like?

~ It should take 9 minutes to read.

~ Short chapters, short paragraphs, shorten descriptions.

Really? 9 minutes? That sounds like a silly idea.

“Reading in short bursts for pleasure makes more difficult reading easier.” ~ Schoonever/La Brant Research Test

What’s the point of a 9 Minute Book?

~ It’s much easier to ask a teenager to try a book that will only take them 9 minutes to read.

~ In most cases, since the story only took 9 minutes, most teenagers will read a second book. So now the student has read for 18 minutes, on their own, for fun!

~ Short Chapters, Short Paragraphs will give the teenager a sense of accomplishment, which will increase their confidence along with significant improvements in reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing fluency, attitude toward school, self-esteem, and advantages in career development.

~ Shorten Descriptions. The story should provide insight to characters and scenes, but also limit details so that it expands the individual teenager’s imagination. This is personalized storytelling.

For this to happen, it needs to start with adults who should take this pledge:

“I am taking the 9 Minute Reading Challenge! I pledge to read at least 9 minutes a day for 9 consecutive days in a row. Then after 9 days, I will do everything in my power to continue with my reading.”

If you take the 9 Minute Reading Challenge, email me: AuthorRonKnight@Aol.com

Also, if you are an author, or own your own business, or run an organization, send me the website link and I’ll promote you!

The world can change for the better if we devote just 9 minutes a day to reading for fun…

Ron Knight

Ron Knight

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