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Ability to read plants a seed

By By Grace Gavilanes, Columnist

Do you remember the last time you read a book for pleasure and entertainment? Refrain from feeling ashamed or disappointed if it's been weeks or months since you've read a remarkable novel, your favorite magazine, or the daily paper. This is, unfortunately, becoming quite common among diverse demographics, especially college students.

Aliteracy, the ability to read but avoiding the act of doing so, is the appropriate term used to describe said issue. There are three types of aliterate readers: dormant readers: those who say are "too busy right now," uncommitted readers: those who "might be a reader, someday," and unmotivated readers: those who claim are "never going to like reading."

The category of "uncommitted readers" is the most common aliteracy type among college students. In Latty Goodwin's article, Aliteracy Among College Students: Why Don't They Read? it becomes increasingly evident that aliteracy is a static factor that remains prominent among college-level students.

It is without question that many college students function throughout the week with little to no sleep. This lack of sleep stems from the amount of workload that is assigned, which leaves hardly any time for pleasure or leisure. If some free time is miraculously available, it is more than likely that students will not spend their free time reading: an act students have been forced to do by their professors, which has become more of an arduous task than a gratifying activity.

Reading is strongly encouraged by professors in all fields of study, but is usually viewed as an option for students who rely solely on lectures given in the classrooms. Goodwin states, "The time constraints of an academic term discouraged students from making an effort to do any extraneous reading, which would include assignments that would not be covered on a test. Students had concluded that most professors delivered the ‘important' information through lectures which eliminated the need for students to read with any rigor outside of class."

It becomes apparent that structural elements in universities unsuccessfully improve reading performance among students in higher education. However, schools are not completely held accountable for this stagnancy in reading.

Are you willing to take on the challenge of picking up a book you've been meaning to read (for a class requirement or for a personal hobby), devouring some pages every night, and falling back into the habit of adoring and appreciating ranges of literary works? It is up to the individual to improve their habits for their own well-being and self-interest by actively partaking in reading, but it is becoming lost among college students. College students that are dormant readers, but they should become more active in the activity.


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