Dying Arts

Loaded with extensive lab reports, thoughtful essays, and challenging math homework, it is hard to find a balance between work and pleasure. Most of my elementary days were spent in my backyard underneath the shady oak tree, sun in my face, book in hand, eyes examining each word thoughtfully, and fingers flipping through the pages rapidly. Now if I were to look out my front window there isn’t a child to be seen, let alone seen with a book in hand. From learning the kindergarten sight words to the pursuit of my first chapter book, my small hands always contained a piece of reading material, not like the kids today where instead of a book, there’s a smartphone.

As my life progressed, the light workload of only a few multiplication problems a night turned into fifty algebra problems with the addition of studying for history tests, five page English essays, and various worksheets. My availability to pursue certain pleasures started to become less apparent and my focus shifted, but my love for reading resided deep down. During occasional spare time, I would spend it reading a good mythology novel, my most preferred being Rick Riordan, and not taking a single sentence for granted and book reports were welcomed with open arms. My freshman year a senior once told me to find time for reading and to never take it for granted, but how do I manage to find time when I am consumed with homework and tests?

Some teachers treat reading as a punishment when it should be cherished, not many people can successfully create a scene that paints a picture in your head (this excludes textbooks because even carrying them is punishment enough). Reading is enforced, which turns many people away from sinking into the thoughtfully created English that remains upon those pages. Not only is this affecting the growing minds of today’s society, but reading and writing is taking away from future generations. I couldn’t imagine life today without J. K. Rowling, Nicholas Sparks, or even more formal authors like Edgar Allan Poe. Writers expand the general mind of society, allowing them to explore depths of their mind that they didn’t even know were there.

Social media and electronic devices can contribute to the downfall of this dying art. Libraries formally dedicated to growing shelves filled with books that include zombies like World War Z, vampires and werewolves like Twilight, or even love stories like The Fault In Our Stars are being traded for Nooks and Kindles that initially have the books downloaded onto them. Our future generations will probably never know how it feels to open up a freshly crisp book anticipating the words so delicately sewn together. Technology has taken away that feeling for me, every book that my teacher assigns is online and I suddenly forget what it’s like to sit under that shady oak awaiting the scene to unfold right in front of me.