The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Students lean towards convenient alternatives to reading books

Maya Price
In an effort to promote reading, little lending libraries have been set up around the United States and other countries. But why do people stop reading? “I think people’s attention spans are getting shorter,” said Joseph Espinosa, an art teacher at Carlmont.

Libraries are no longer used for books; instead, they are packed with students socializing, using social media, listening to audiobooks, and doing schoolwork. The Belmont Library, in particular, is always overrun with students after school gets out, and most enjoy the space because of its convenient location and atmosphere. This is a common trend across America, and many students no longer read as much as they used to, even in places previously dedicated to reading.

Most people do not read books anymore because of their busy schedules. Many students have extracurriculars and homework that they need the time to complete to be most successful.

“I think the high school workload and extracurriculars such as sports or volunteering leave little time for reading. It’s much easier to open your phone and scroll mindlessly on for entertainment than reading a book,” said Chloe Harris, a sophomore at Carlmont. 

However, not everyone rules out reading; some opt for more easily accessible reading alternatives to save time. Many students and teachers, in this way, read online for convenience or listen to audiobooks to multitask.

“I listen to audiobooks when I commute to work. The time I used to spend reading books is now spent listening to them to save time. I still read physical books, like comics and Manga, or illustration books,” said Joseph Espinosa, an art teacher at Carlmont.

The most drastic decrease in reading time has happened in the past few years, as people’s lives became drastically busier. According to Statista, during the height of the pandemic in 2020, adults in the United States had an average daily reading time of 20 minutes. However, that dropped to 15 minutes per day in 2023. 

The growing popularity of social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat also takes time from people’s interest to open a book in their daily lives, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

While most students increasingly use more convenient alternatives or social media because it allows them to process information much more quickly than a book, people will continue to enjoy books because of their personal touch on readers.

“Reading is the same as watching a movie or show. It’s because it’s the same thing; you’re just imagining it all happening in your way in your head. And in many ways, it can be even better than watching a show or movie because books can have a lot more emotion and allow you to imagine it all happening,” said Mónica Hernández Navarrete, a sophomore at Carlmont.

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About the Contributor
Maya Price
Maya Price, Staff Writer
Maya Price (Class of 2026) joined journalism because she thought it would be more interesting than regular English. She likes reading and her dog, Osa.

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