The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Where Are the Readers?

The+Chamblee+library+and+its+notably+empty+aisles.
The Chamblee library and its notably empty aisles.

As of late, it can be difficult not to notice the lack of readers and interest in reading. With teenagers reading less and less each year, it can be challenging for even avid readers to maintain their interest in reading while others are actively moving away from reading. A particularly strong competitor of reading for young adults and teenagers is technology, such as phones, which often leave little to no room for reading.
“I’ve noticed that social media has decreased people’s attention spans and has created less interest in reading. People would rather choose short-form media over reading an actual book,” said Wyatt Wright (‘26).
Chamblee’s librarian, Christine Holland, has noticed a decrease in readers and is significantly affected by the lack of readers entering her library.
“I feel kind of discouraged [about the lack of readers]. I’ve seen a change in reading since I started this profession, where phones and social media have taken over, but I don’t want to get too discouraged. I still try to promote books every day,” said Holland.
Unfortunately, when students get home, they often want to relax and take the easier route rather than focusing on something time-consuming, such as reading.
“Reading takes time and usually patience, and after a day of school, it’s much easier to watch TV or play video games. I also feel the constant reading in schools creates this connection between work and reading, which stops us from reading more often,” said Ethan Cochran (‘26).
Although many students enjoy reading, it can be hard to maintain their interest when burdened by the tiresome task of homework.
“I read less when I get super stressed with school work, and I’m supposed to read textbooks instead of reading for fun. As long as I have enough time to do things alone, reading keeps my happiness up,” Emilia Lowe-Pederson (‘24).
Even the teachers and staff understand that it can be challenging to maintain a reading interest when burdened by the stress of classwork.
“In this school, it’s hard to come to the library in your free time because you are so busy with all your classes and so much classwork, so that one obstacle [to reading], especially with the clubs, sports, extracurriculars and the class load. It’s hard to read books unless you’re an avid reader,” said Holland.
Many students lose interest in reading under all this schoolwork and the strain of a regular school day.
“Primarily, school [occupies my time], and I’m just so busy that I don’t have any spare time to read,” said Wright.
Many hope readership increases as reading is fundamental to education and society.
“My hope is that media literacy increases again because there have been so many cases of people just not understanding books or various other media sources, usually leading to a negative response, and reading does help to be able to understand things more,” said Cochran.
The lack of readers has dramatically affected the librarians’ and teachers’ jobs.
“My job has become more technology-focused; I buy many more eBooks now. A lot of books that I buy don’t get checked out as much as I like them to; a lot of my job is now about technology support and helping kids with their platforms that they need help with,” said Holland.
Despite the decrease in the readership, many people remain loyal to the hobby.
“I feel happier when I am reading, and I feel like people who do not read as much are more uptight because when I read, I feel calmer,” said Stella Barton (’26).
Many like to read for the sake of enjoying new things and experiencing plots they can’t experience themself.
“I enjoy reading different kinds of books and immersing myself in their plots,” said Wright.
Many require a book that captures their attention and engages them in new worlds, which can emulate the more traditional entertainment provided by TV or video games.
“What keeps me interested in reading is either a gripping story, an interesting new perspective, or ideas that I’ve never thought about,” said Cochran.
Reading can also distract from today’s dilemmas and extinguish internal problems.
“Nowadays, it depends on my mood. I like to distract myself. Reading helps me distract myself, and if I ever need to get away from whatever is happening, I can just read,” said Barton.
However, despite the many who have walked away from reading, a handful of students feel strongly about reading and even take their reading interests outside the book.
“My friend Grace and I love to talk about books because we are both really into books. We thought maybe one day we could start talking about books on an actual podcast because we followed a podcast called Bookmarked, which [talked about books], and we wanted to try it out too,” said Barton.
Barton and her friend have created a podcast called Dear Reader, discussing books and Taylor Swift.
From 2023, many of Chamblee’s most eager readers have some honorable mentions, which could serve as a reentry point for those who have lost the habit of reading.
“‘Yours Truly’ by Abby Jimenez, a romance novel, was super sweet and good for all age groups,” said Barton.
“The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever is an interesting look at the art scene during the 50s and 60s. The Creative Act: A Way of Being is the book I’m reading currently, and that’s all about the philosophy of creating things,” said Cochran.
“My favorite author is Erin Morgenstern; she wrote The Night Circus and The Starless Seas, which are fantastic. The Starless Seas is my favorite book,” said Lowe-Pederson.
Many hope that the interest in reading will continue to increase, if not only for the betterment of society but for everyone’s happiness. All it often takes is one book.
“I feel like if a student finds a book they like, it generates some kind of interest, so just one book [can get people interested], or it may take twelve before they find one they like. I suggest having books nearby; you don’t have to read all the time, but if you just have a book on your bedside, that will lead to another book you would enjoy, whether it’s the same author or series. We try to get books that kids will enjoy,” said Holland.
Suppose you are interested in regaining interest in reading or simply looking to occupy your free time. In that case, you can always take trips to the library, which is always open for readers and those looking to start reading. Even though reading a book may seem complicated and unnerving, you may find a story that you genuinely like and will motivate you to read more. Reading can immerse you in many different plots and experiences—and no matter how out of practice you are, all it takes is one book.

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About the Contributor
Addison Lyons, Staff Writer
Addison Lyons (‘26) is a sophomore and a Staff Writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, she hopes to be in college studying for a medical degree. Her three favorite things are Taylor Swift, watching scary movies, and reading.

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