When I was a kid, reading was cool…

When I was a kid, reading was cool….

Let me explain what I mean. When I was growing up, there was so much media and promotion to get children to read. It’s not that it isn’t the case now, but kids today are of a different generation, and their interests seem geared towards other things. To make a disclaimer, I’m not saying that kids today don’t have an interest in reading at all, because a lot of them do, but there is a difference in prevalence as far as age groups. Some age groups, as I have observed, seem to read more than others.

When I found out about the joys of reading as a kid I was like this:

I was told a that a book could take me to different places without going anywhere. I was pretty excited. Plus I had a heavy dose of imagination:

It also helped that I had lots of fun multimedia to show me how awesome reading was. Anybody out there remember this?

It encouraged me to read even more than I already did. Each episode centered on a theme from a book, or other children’s literature, which was explored through a number of segments or stories. The show also recommended books for kids to look for when they went to the library. It changed my life!

Not only were there shows like “Reading Rainbow” that solely focused on reading, but a lot of other shows had themes and/or reading books as a hobbies such as:

This song was and still is one of my favorite jams.

To get to point of my entire post, I personally feel there is lack of media in getting people to read. It’s not like it not entirely there, but it doesn’t seem to be as much “in your face” as the TV shows, music, and other media that I grew up with. Or maybe it’s just a different generation with different types of advertisements of some sort. Sure we have the cool government sponsored commercials and the many, many booktubers, and other internet fun stuff showing how cool it is to read, but it just feels different.

My own friends are split into the types that love the read and the others that don’t. I can’t even fathom growing up and not experiencing the joy of a book. It is so much more than words on pages. There are endless genres and as Dr.Seuss would say, “Oh the places you’ll go”.

How do you feel about this? What reading media did you grow up with? Do you think it has changed, or is it just geared differently? Let me know, I want to hear what you think.

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10 thoughts on “When I was a kid, reading was cool…

  1. I totally agree with you. I remember when I was in elementary school and the Scholastic book faire would come and set up in the auditorium, and our parents would give us money to get the books we wanted. Still, most people just bought posters and stationary. I’m part of the younger generation and there’s very few people that I know that like to read– whenever I bring up the idea of reading for fun with them they act like it’s a completely outlandish idea. But I think there’s a certain number of people my age that pride themselves on having read the classics, so there may be hope. I guess people just figure they’ll watch the movie or show instead, but it’s not at all the same.

    1. Omg, I loved the Scholastic book fair too! I can’t believe I forgot to add that. Those were so much fun and they always had lots of cool books, etc. to buy.. I agree, it’s sad reading for fun is actually considered “outlandish”. I guess if people are reading some kind of book, they’re reading, but it’s not the same.

  2. I think it has something to do with current the pace of life. When I was younger, children were not as heavily scheduled with formal activities, and life was more spontaneous. We were expected to amuse ourselves. Reading was a perfect way to do that. Children are now allowed less freedom to choose their own activities, and move in a highly regimented and supervised set of circles. Babies are introduced to electronic toys very early, children do not play outside except on organized sports teams, academic competition is accelerated and self-directed, imaginative, spontaneous play is one of the casualties. Reading for pleasure requires much more effort than passive consumption of electronic entertainment, and takes too much time when the very tight schedules modern children are forced to endure intrude. It is very counter-cultural to sit and read, these days.

    1. I agree, you wholeheartedly I think today’s technology is so “in your face” and that kids are stimulated at such an early age. I also think kids today lack some sort of imagination to read for pleasure because they are exposed to so much at a young age.

  3. I agree that reading is not stressed as much today as it was years before. However, in this postmodern culture, everything is split up into interest groups. There are pockets of children who don’t read anything. There are pockets of children who get lots to read, but it’s all poor quality. There are pockets of children whose parents care about their literacy, and they get lots of quality books put into their hands. I belong to a homeschooling group that uses great literature to teach the children. Let’s hope these pockets of well-read children grow up and teach their children the same way!

    1. I agree with you! You make really good point that it is the fact that today it’s either kids read or they don’t. There’s no in between. I really hope the same for children who read and that they pass on the joys of books to their own children!

  4. I totally agree. When I was a kid, we were encouraged to read because of the enjoyment we would get from the activity. I think though kids are encouraged to read these days, they are more encouraged to try different platforms for reading and the focus is more on keeping their attention than encouraging them to read.

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