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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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October 21, 2008

Balancing books

The Chicago Tribune ran a story about how schools are trying to find the right mix of books to keep students interested in reading. Since the percent of 17-year-olds who read nothing for pleasure has doubled during the past 20 years, educators are trying to balance the classics with works whose tone and theme are more accessible to today’s teenagers. They pair old novels with newer books or media—comparing “Romeo and Juliet” with a hip-hop song about unrequited love, for example.

A chart with the article shows the minutes spent reading per day.
Age 1-24: 7 minutes
Age 25-34: 9 minutes
Ages 35-44: 12 minutes
Age 45-54: 17 minutes
Age 55-64: 30 minutes
65 and older: 50 minutes

These numbers raise questions for the media—including The Lutheran : How can publications attract the younger generations who are the future readers? And what does this mean for the church? As the ELCA begins its Book of Faith initiative, how can it draw younger people into the study so they, too, “can become more familiar with the Bible as a source of truth in their lives”?

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