Reading is becoming a less and less popular free time activity. Do you agree with this statement? Why? Why not?

I am a real bookworm; I just cannot imagine a day without reading at least a few lines before I go to bed. When I come across an interesting book, sometimes I forget about the whole world before I read it from cover to cover. Unfortunately, although I like to talk about literature, it often happens that I have no one to discuss it with! It is true that reading is becoming less and less popular, not only among my peers.

My parents have told me that in the past the situation was different. Libraries were full of avid readers, people used to queue outside bookshops and secondary school students begged their teachers to let them discuss recent bestsellers. Twenty years have passed and now when you ask a teenager what he reads, he will laugh at you and answer: ‘text messages and Internet chats’. This is very sad as I believe that a person who does not like reading, misses out on a lot of things.

First of all, reading broadens the mind, enriches your vocabulary, develops your imagination and helps you with your studies in general – for example, with your spelling. Secondly, it also allows you to understand numerous allusions to world literature in films and television programmes. You can even make big money if you are well-read and decide to take part in a quiz show.

It is not very easy to encourage people to read more. They often associate this activity with grey, dusty libraries and some boring reading matter to be done at school. Some people that I know used to be avid readers in the past but now they cannot afford buying any books. The prices of both fiction and non-fiction have soared for the last few years. Going to the library is not a good solution as many of them do not purchase any new books any more. However, in big cities there are certain bookshops where you can sit with a cup of coffee and read a novel without having to buy it and whenever I visit such a place, I can see a lot of people taking advantage of this opportunity. Anyway, not every book fan lives in Warsaw or Krakow.

If I worked for the Ministry of Culture, I would do my best to make reading popular again, just like it used to be when my parents were young. I would send more money to libraries and encourage booksellers to open more places where you can read a book before buying it. I would also consult teachers and students what books they would like to discuss at schools. Obviously, there are some literary works that everyone should know but why not introduce also something which would appeal more to young people? Finally, I would try to convince the television authorities to broadcast programmes pro­moting reading in prime time, instead of dull soap operas and sitcoms. Who is able to watch even the most interesting interview at midnight?

All in all, I can see a ray of hope for bookworms. The media are currently organizing various actions promoting reading books and you can see more and more commuters who read novels on the bus or train to work. Also the Internet is the place where book fans gather to discuss various literary works. I also want to mention the idea of bookcrossing, which has gained big popularity among young people. I strongly believe that I will not remain the last reader on earth.


Pytanie, które może zadać egzaminator

What kind of literature do you think should be read in schools?

I suppose that many young people are disappointed with the choice of literature we discuss in our Polish lessons. Some of the nineteenth century characters do not appeal to contemporary readers. I would definitely like to be able to read more twentieth century authors, including foreign ones, especially British and American ones. It would also be a good idea to read more poetry as I really love poems by Halina Poświatowska and Sylvia Plath.

  • from cover to cover – od deski do deski
  • avid – żądny, gorliwy, zapalony, namiętny, entuzjastyczny
  • bookworm – mól książkowy (osoba bardzo lubiąca czytać)