America is in danger. Not from illness, nor war, nor poverty, but something also extremely disheartening: a lack of literature. Before cellular devices, social media, and the convenient services of texting, the average American cracked open a book whenever they were bored. However, now that technology and mindless devices consume everyday life, the spectacle of words no longer appeal to the American audience. Ever since the upbringing of superficial devices, the average American has slowly abandoned the pleasure of reading, only to do so when they have to.

Recent English teachers have heard horrendous remarks from students like these in the past few months: “What’s pleasure reading?” or “Oh yeah! I read about that on Shmoop.” and “That movie was awesome! I didn’t know there was a book.” These comments shame the culture of reading in America, and the sad news is that most teenagers demonstrate this.

Another example of this drought of words being fulfilled by the American culture is the phrase “lit.” Suddenly, the word “lit” is used under a partying connotation, instead of an abbreviation of the world literature. When students walk into classrooms where teachers have written the literary form of the word across the backboard, most are puzzled. They think: “How can analysis be ‘lit’?” and “What does being at school have anything to do with ‘lit’?” This ignorance is awful, and it must be stopped.

This outbreak of disinterest in reading has grown over the years. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury describes a culture where books are seen as wrong. Many fear America heading in that same direction. Reading is enriching and empowering. It brings the reader to think and understand. Literature is something that can make others learn, exposing a whole other reality. Books, crackling paged books that smell when they are flipped through, satisfy an accomplishment in the reader. Adventure, love, and the appreciation of life is inspired by books. This epidemic can be solved easily, but only by the gratitude of literature.

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