1) The New Bibliophobes, written by Mark Bauerlein, explains how the new generation of young people is opposed to reading books. Mark considers their aversion to reading books as the definition of being bibliophiles. In addition, Mark credits the decline of reading books for fun on new technology, which takes the more recent generation’s time away from books. Mark argues “It isn’t hard to identify one of the reasons for the slide. With the advent of the Digital Age, teens have more diversions at hand than they did before” (Bauerlein 88). He states that teens have so many choices of where to spend their time that they would rather do those things than reading books. Additionally, Mark addresses how technology is not making the new generation any smarter. He quotes from an article that says the newer generation thinks it is trendy to be intelligent. The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests, “Millennials think it’s cool to be smart [however] they rarely read newspapers—or, for that matter, books” (qtd. in Bauerlein 85). Mark believes that the younger generation is not getting smarter by not reading books. He explains how the younger generation is opposed to reading books in The New Bibliophobes.
Mark Bauerlein’s opinion is that being a bibliophobe is not good. I’m afraid I have to disagree with Mark’s opinion regarding this matter. In my opinion, reading books does not equate to knowledge. Some people do not process information well from reading. Therefore, these people can read multiple books, which does not guarantee they will learn from reading those books. Some people are auditory and hands-on learners. They would not be able to be taught by reading a book. Mark claims in The New Bibliophobes, “Kids read and write more words than ever before, but reading scores for high school seniors have been flat since the 1970s and down since the early 1990s” (Bauerlein 91). If Mark believes that reading books makes people more literate, why did the scores for high school seniors remain flat for so many years? If reading is a good tool for teaching, why have there been no improvements? Mark blames new technology for this; however, new technology was not commonly used until the 20th century. Consequently, there should not have been a decline in reading scores for seniors since the early 1990s. This reason is why I do not agree with Mark’s opinion that being a bibliophobe is a negative thing.
Mark Bauerlein asserts in The New Bibliophobes, “It’s a new attitude, this brazen disregard of books and reading” (Bauerlein 85); therefore, I do not consider myself a bibliophobe. I enjoy reading books for pleasure. I enjoy reading books to gain a different perspective on different issues. For example, I enjoy reading people’s autobiographical stories to discover their points of view. I have learned to enjoy reading books electronically. Furthermore, if I do not want to have a physical copy of a book, I will download the book to read anytime from my phone or tablet. Because I like to read books in both physical and electronic form for fun, I do not consider myself a bibliophobe.
2) The New Bibliphobes was an article written by Mark Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory University, revealing that more and more younger generations reject doing readings. Bibliphobes are defined as people who hate reading books. “There are several studies and articles he has listed to support his idea. He started the article with the interview record he did for a radio station with a young adult. Their conversation indicates the lack of reading experience that high schoolers have. Bauerlein was surprised at how the caller felt “no shame for her anti-literary taste, and no cognizance of its poverty.” (Baulerlein, 2) In terms of ethos, Bauerlein used a quote from the Chronicle of Higher Education, “While the article observed that Millennials “think it’s cool to be smart,” it also noted, “They rarely read newspapers—or, for that matter, books .” (Bauerlein, 2) He utilized ethos to support his idea of the lack of leisure reading by younger generations. In terms of logos, he listed the following data, “Notwithstanding the low bar, only 43 percent of eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds read any work of poetry, fiction, or drama in the pre- ceding year. Even more worrisome, the tally marked a 17 percent drop from 1982’s figure. For book reading of any kind, while 59 percent of eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds read at least one in 1992, only 51 percent did so in 2002.” (Bauerlein, 3) Besides, he has also talked about the counter-argument to this topic, which he understands the advantages of moving into the digital age. “Leisure time is a finite number, making leisure behavior a zero-sum game. The laptop, iPhone, video game, and Photoshop pull eyes and ears away from other diversions.”(Baulerlein, 5). He believes that electronic devices are more attractive to teenagers, but they will cause a long-term disadvantage. “today’s digital youth are in the process of creating a new kind of literacy, which extends beyond the traditions of reading and writing into an evolving community of expression and problem-solving that is changing not only their world but ours, as well .” (Bauerlein, 6) E-literacy started growing among the younger generations. Because it’s easier and more convenient, it takes less time for people actually to think, the computer does everything for them. The rise of E-literacy is not only because teenagers want to take shortcuts and be lazy, but also because “The twenty-first-century economy requires rapid communications, faster transfers of info, the reasoning goes, and ambitious teens don’t have time to deliberate over a volume of Robert Frost or learn five new words a day.” (Bauerlein, 7) In conclusion, this article discusses the phenomenon that younger generations are less likely to read physical books.
I agree with what Mark Baulerlein said about teenagers nowadays having a lack of reading experience and relying more on their electronic devices, which is a negative designation. “A 2008 report from Strong American Schools found that 43 percent of two-year college students and 29 percent of four-year college students end up in a remedial class in reading, writing, or math. According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, one-third of students who enter college straight out of high school drop out after one year. And a 2004 study from the National Commission on Writing surveyed businesses and determined that corporate America spends $3 .1 billion dollars a year on in-house tutoring in writing.” (Bauerlein, 8) The data above reinforces the importance of literacy skills; therefore, being a bibliophile is a negative designation.
I won’t say that I am 100% bibliophile, I would rather say that I am one of those who suffers from e-literacy. “What smart person would devote hours to learning words that can be accessed at the click of a button? Spell-check can spell . Shift+F7 produces synonyms.” (Baulerlein, 6) Nowadays, the computer does all the things for us. It is very convenient and easily accessible. People tend to read more on their phones, computers, or kindle because those are easier to carry. Also, because we are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and all the classes and assignments are online, we read and write using our computers, giving us fewer opportunities to read a physical book.
3) In summarization to Professors Mark Bauerlein’s article, “The New Bibliophobes” focuses on teachers who express that it is very difficult to get their students to read books in this generation. Mark Bauerlien goes on to interview many people on why they experience Bibiophobes. The definition of Bibliophobes stated on merriam-webster defines it as a strong dislike of books. The main idea of this article expresses the decrease of students readings’ in the most recent years for various reasons. The tone of Baurerleins is very informative and shows the great amount of research put into bibliophobes. This is not specifically a bad thing as Bauerlein lists many pros and cons to the problem stated in the beginning. “Because of all the boring stuff the teachers assign.” Students do not seem to have an interest in reading due to the boring assignments their teachers have planned for them. To broaden his search, he goes through the interview process, surveys, and polls in order to show the decrease of reading which causes bibliophobes.
“E-literacy derives not from bibliophobia, then, but from the miraculous and evolving advent of digital tech- nology, the Information Age, and the Electronic Word . The more young adults master the practices of digital life, the better they suc- ceed . With the American Freshman Survey reporting in 2005 that 71 percent of students attend college “to be able to make more money” (up from 44 .6 percent in 1971), e-literacy makes a lot more sense than book learning “. Mark Baurerlein makes a clear case on his opinion on bibliophobes and how it is affecting the future as we know it. At the end, he states that there is a new source to reading that doesn’t require opening a book. As this is stated, he brings many positives to this issue.
Personally, I do not enjoy reading. Growing up I always thought of reading being boring. Looking back now, I wish I could have read more to increase my intelligents on many different things. E-literary has benefited my life due to finding everything online. Today, if you look something up, it will be there. The internet is a very resourceful place due to it having nearly everything you’re looking for on it. I believe I suffer from Bibliophiles due to lack of literacy.
4) “The New Bibliophobes” is about new generations not getting used to old fashioned reading. With recent studies shows that in “2005 American Freshman Survey, a survey of first year college students about their last year in high school, 24.8 respondents tallied zero hours “reading for pleasure” in an average week, while 26 .1 percent put in less than one hour and 23.8 percent reported one to two hours . In 1994, only 19.6 percent read for zero hours” (Bauerlein). The author is not convinced that bibliophobes are a positive thing because there is not enough evidence.
Mark Bauerlein states that being a bibliophobe is a positive thing but there is not enough evidence that proves that it works. “E-literacy derives not from bibliophobia, then, but from the miraculous and evolving advent of digital technology, the Information Age, and the Electronic Word . The more young adults master the practices of digital life, the better they succeed . With the American Freshman Survey reporting in 2005 that 71 percent of students attend college “to be able to make more money” (up from 44 .6 percent in 1971), e-literacy makes a lot more sense than book learning.”(Bauerlein) People that have dexterous in E-literacy become more successful. I agree with mark because technology is becoming an every day thing and books are becoming something in the past now. There are library apps now that basically replace the library building.
Yes, I am a bibliophobe because I rarely touch physical books, I would rather read about the latest graphics cards or SpaceX rocket launch. “Young people shirk books, maybe so, but not because they’re lazy and stupid . The twenty-first-century economy requires rapid communications, faster transfers of info, the reasoning goes, and ambitious teens don’t have time to deliberate over a volume of Robert Frost or learn five new words a day.”(Bauerlein). The technology is advancing very fast and people just don’t have the time to read books.