The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

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The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

Reading, an outdated hobby?

English teacher Jennifer Sayasane’s fifth period English 10 class reads Internment. They start class on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with reading time.
Photo By Clara Saros
English teacher Jennifer Sayasane’s fifth period English 10 class reads Internment. They start class on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with reading time.

Years ago, reading was a common way to pass time. There were no iPhones, iPads or other devices with easy internet access. Social media platforms, widely-used in modern-day life, did not exist either. Now that these things are commonplace, reading books and novels have seemingly all but disappeared.
“I think there is a lot more distraction than there used to be. I mean, I didn’t have a phone when I was in high school, so if I wanted to occupy my time I had to have something else,” librarian Jessica Parker said. “I had the internet on my computer and I did a lot of what people do now, random searching and whatever, but it wasn’t so at your fingertips.”
With all the options for entertainment now, you do not need to read a book to kill time. Many people no longer find any value or purpose in reading for fun. However, English teacher Jennifer Sayasane says, “I think I have had more and more kids tell me they don’t read, but I also have more kids who read a lot. I have a couple kids this year who just are constantly reading something.”
Because of social media, a person can easily surround themselves with what they like and avoid what they dislike. “I have never read a book without being told to,” sophomore Daniel Somerlot said.
Many readers think that one of the reasons why people do not read is because of social media. According to sophomore Lorelei Speare, “They’re too busy with social media and stuff. I don’t have social media so maybe that’s why I like reading. I know someone first hand that doesn’t like reading. They haven’t even read Interment; they just guess on the quizzes and stuff.”
Kaneland students hold mixed opinions about books for their English classes. Some, like senior Hope Maschman, have strong opinions about the whole matter.
“I do not think very highly of them. I think that while they are good books and they are relevant, there are books that are more relevant,” she expressed. “However, I feel like there are different [books] that are definitely more relevant to today that we should be reading more.”
Not all people dislike those books. Many people, readers or not, find them to be relevant and fun to read. “I personally really like them. I find the writing style to be interesting. It’s not about meaningless things, like a lot of time it has real life applications as opposed to mindless fiction,” Somerlot said.
Junior Lindsey Stoddard had a more unique opinion. “Books for school are harder because I have to read them and I have to annotate them and pay more attention, and I can’t just read them for fun,” Stoddard said. “But typically it shows a new idea of a book and that’s why I started nonfiction, so it can be good.”
The books read for classes are chosen for educational purposes but are meant to hold at least some student interest. Sometimes, the pressure of knowing you will be tested on what you are reading can take away some of the enjoyment.
Teens tend to worry about what people think of them. Teen readers are no exception. Most teen readers feel judged by their peers.
“I feel [teen readers are] seen as people who try to not stand out, like loners,” sophomore Tyler Hildebrand said. He views other readers in a different way. “I think they are just trying to get the same enjoyment that I get from books.”
However, most people spend more time feeling judged than actually judging others.
“I don’t think there is [anything upsetting] when you hear somebody say, ‘Oh I read for fun.’ Maybe you’ll think I wouldn’t do that. That’s something we have different, but nobody’s going to be like, ‘Oh you read for fun. You’re such a loser.’ Nobody’s going to do that. I feel like that is something more put into movies, and it’s not really realistic,” sophomore Sameera Muzquis said.
The stereotypes surrounding readers involve them being know-it-alls, nerds, or not having any friends. But the type of person you are does not depend on whether or not you read. Not all things that are available to be read are educational or even school related.
“I have to assume it is a little bit like anytime somebody is really into a hobby or a passion or something they are a fan of, people don’t get it. I don’t know if there is judgment [because] I think they kind of respect it, but I think they don’t understand it,” Sayasane said.
While those people who read for fun and highly value books are typically the ones considered readers, other people are still reading every day. “People claim they don’t read, but we are reading every day. We read texts, we read notifications, we read in school. So people aren’t actually reading books in 2023, but they are still reading words every single day,” junior Izzy Perez said.
As time goes on, who knows how reading will continue to change.
“The way we read has changed, and so I think we are trying to adjust to that and figure that out,” Parker said.

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About the Contributor
Clara Saros, Profile Editor