Reading still an escape for some students- if they have time

Between class assignments, working part-time jobs and maintaining social lives, are college students reading books for fun?

A few Buffalo State students claim that they have absolutely no time for books outside of classroom requirements. According to junior Chris Wyant and senior Luke Vorpahl, criminal justice department students, finding time to read is difficult. Both students claim to enjoy reading when the opportunity arises and they have an interesting book at hand.

However, “there are more desirable forms of entertainment,” Vorpahl said.

Many students agree that technology distracts them from reading and gives them more convenient ways of getting information.

“Instead of reading a book, I can just use Sparknotes and do more productive things,” Wyant said.

Even if you are interested in a book, you no longer have to take the time to read it yourself. There are devices that will read to you and audio books that you can listen to while you drive.

To many students, technology has made the need to read a thing of the past. Most of them will not cut back on their use of the Internet, television and video games to read a book at leisure.

“I’ll read a book when the power goes out,” Wyant said.

A recent survey at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota showed that out of 717 students, 93 percent enjoyed reading for pleasure.

Julie Gilbert and Barbara Fister, the authors of the study, claimed that many students do not have the time to sit down and read a book during the day.

Gilbert and Fister were librarians at Gustavus, and received an overwhelming response from students that lack of time prevented them from reading as much as they would like.

“It’s understandable because we see how overbooked they are,” Gilbert said.

Marilyn Asquith, a professor in the Buffalo State English department, believes pleasure reading in college has remained steady over the past 20 years. With the success of the Harry Potter series and the Twilight saga, more people are reading because they are interested in the publicity and the cultural hype.

“Students would rather read for pleasure than for classes,” Asquith said.

She suggests marketing books and authors to encourage people to read and let them know that there are books out there.

Many studies show that there is a decline in college students who read for pleasure. However, students that find time for reading do still exist.

Tom Kolbert, a business major, is an avid reader. He claims that he will choose reading for fun over doing homework. During boring lecture classes he will pull out a book in order to escape.

“I’m not the only one,” Kolbert said. “I see kids reading in class all the time.”

Although many students may not be reading books for fun, most of the student body does read.

College students read text messages, Facebook statuses, Twitter updates and magazine articles daily. Books may not be a necessity for many students, but they make sure to get their text time in somewhere.


Charity Wimmer can be reached by email at [email protected].