Hollywood makes reading popular again for young readers

Ever wanted to read again, but thought you were too busy, or it was too much to get back into? Well, it is the perfect time to dig deep into a page-turner and carry this healthy habit into your next chapter. Reading rates are more than before, with Americans reading 25% more when compared to 2020.

Younger generations are reading more than their parents, and Dallas Bell, owner of Burrowing Owl Bookstore in both Amarillo and Canyon, has noticed this too. She thinks she knows why. Readers are using books to break free and put everyday stresses on the shelf.

“We’re seeing an uptake in reading this year,” Bell said. “And I want to attribute it to movies.”

Multiple movies of late have promoted a rise in book sales due to peaked interests in different events, persons, and scenes. They set the scene for the book through visuals. This cinema almost appears as a trailer for the book’s storyline.

“Where the Crawdads Sing, Dune, and a lot of the Netflix and Amazon series are being pulled straight from books. People are wanting to read the book to see how it compares with the movie, or they just love the movie so much that they have to have that book,” Bell said. “With all of the streaming and movies, I think Hollywood is promoting reading into our younger generations again.”

Streaming has done a lot for books, but there is another factor that may also come into play: experience. Screen time on smartphones may conflict with spare time. Almost half of Americans believe they spend 4 to 5 hours on their smartphones each day. However, Best By the Numbers found that Millennials read more than any other age group with 80% of Millennials reading a book in the past 12 months compared to 70% of Baby Boomers. Reading offers the ability to escape.

Corrin Davis, 21-year-old college student, enjoys reading in her free time. When life is pulling her in multiple directions, it’s a good source to go to.

“Reading is a great way to escape reality,” Davis said. “It’s a great way for me to decompress and live in a different world for a little while vicariously through somebody else.”

As reading seems most popular with millennials, all generations ranging from Generation Z to the Silent Generation participate in the hobby. Each generation has different experiences and lifestyles, however, the love of reading seems to be constant for everyone.

“Our age range is anywhere from 2 months to 99 years old. No matter who you are, there is a book out there for you. Reading is for everybody and that’s the beautiful thing about it,” Bell said. “It unites the world.”

Books are a dominant form of information and scenery in our world. They are not limited to education, but have become television, cinema, and home décor. Reading has seen many changes, and only time will tell what chapter is next.