「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

社説:読書の秋 若者よ、本を開こう

September 15, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Time to pick up a book
社説:読書の秋 若者よ、本を開こう

The autumn book-reading season is again upon us. Reading not only boosts our knowledge, hones our sensitivities and nurtures our ability to think, but it also helps to broaden our perspective and develop our imagination. It's been said people today are spending less time reading. Now is a good time to take a fresh look at the benefits of books and call upon the young to turn to reading.
 灯火親しむ季節になった。読書は知識を蓄え、感覚を磨き、考える力を養うだけでなく、視野を広げ、想像力を鍛える。「読書離れ」がいわれて久しいが、今こそ、書物の効用を見直し、特に若者が本に向かうように呼びかけたい。

The Japanese publishing industry has suffered recently from slumping sales. According to Shuppan Nenkan, an almanac published by Shuppan News Co., sales in the domestic publishing industry stood at some 1.77 trillion yen last year. Of that amount, books accounted for roughly 843 billion yen, and magazines 928.1 billion yen. Last year's sales stood at just two-thirds of the peak figure of 2.698 trillion yen recorded in 1996.
 日本の出版不況が続いている。「出版年鑑」(出版ニュース社)によると、昨年の出版界の売り上げは約1兆7711億円。内訳は書籍が約8430億円、雑誌が9281億円だった。出版界全体のピークは1996年の2兆6980億円で、3分の2に減ってしまったことになる。

Declining sales are especially serious in the magazine industry. Most likely, this is largely due to the prevalence of smartphones and other devices. Sagging magazine sales lead to declining ad revenues for publishers, which adversely affects bookstores and eventually pushes their numbers down. Today's Internet-oriented society calls into question the roles magazines can play.
 特に雑誌の落ち込みがひどい。スマートフォンなどの普及が大きな理由だろう。雑誌の不況は、出版社にとっては広告収入の減少になり、街の書店の不振や書店数の減少も招く。ネット社会において雑誌に何ができるかが問われている。

That said, Japanese people as a whole are not necessarily turning away from books. In fact, the number of books lent out at libraries across the country remains high. According to the Japan Library Association, there are at least 3,200 public libraries nationwide, which lent out a total of over 710 million books, CDs and DVDs to individuals in fiscal 2012. Compared to a decade earlier, the number of libraries in Japan has increased by at least 400. As a result, the number of books lent out has risen by more than 100 million.
 だが、日本人全体が読書から離れているのかというと、そうとばかりもいえない。図書館の貸出数は多い。日本図書館協会によると現在、全国に3200以上の公共図書館があり、2012年度の館外個人貸し出しは7億1000万点以上(CDやDVDを含む)だった。10年前に比べて館数が400以上増えたが、貸し出しも1億数千万点増加した。

According to a survey jointly conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and the School Library Association (SLA), children today are not reading less. Rather, the average number of books read by children slightly increased over the past decade. At the same time, the ratio of children who don't read any books in the month of May -- a gauge for determining the level of book-reading -- has been on the decline. The next challenge, many say, is having children read higher quality books.
 毎日新聞と全国学校図書館協議会(全国SLA)が合同で実施している学校読書調査でも、子供たちは読書離れをしていない。この10年間でも、平均読書量は微増傾向だし、不読率(その年の5月に本を読まなかった人の割合)も減っている。ただ、「読む本の質を高めることが今後の課題」という声はよく聞く。

In the meantime, one particular trend requires serious attention. According to a survey by the National Federation of University Co-operative Associations, the number of university students who said they didn't read any books reached 40.5 percent last year, topping 40 percent for the first time since the survey was first conducted in 2004. The revealing survey sent shockwaves through society, as university students are expected to read piles of books.
 一方、深刻な数字もある。全国大学生活協同組合連合会の昨年の調査によると、「まったく本を読まない」という学生が40.5%に達し、調査を始めた04年以降、初めて4割を超えた。書物に親しむべき大学生の実態は衝撃的だった。

At elementary and junior high schools, teachers' efforts to encourage reading have been producing results. Morning reading time in classes has played a part in this. However, high school and university students are apparently spending more time on games, the Internet, entrance exam preparations, part-time jobs and other activities, and less time on reading. It can be said that teachers' efforts at high schools and universities are insufficient in encouraging students to read. The trend among those in their late teens of not reading books apparently continues when they grow older.
 小・中学校では学校での読書指導(朝の一斉読書など)が効果を上げている。しかし、高校、大学と進むにつれて、ゲームやネット通信、受験勉強、アルバイトなどで、読書がおろそかにされているのだろう。高校や大学での読書指導も不十分なのではないか。この傾向が20代以降にもつながっていると思われる。

It is no easy task to change the status quo, but SLA counselor Isao Kobayashi proposes expanding the drive to distribute book coupons at coming-of-age ceremonies, following in the footsteps of the so-called Bookstart movement that offers books to babies and infants. We embrace his idea.
 現状への対策は難しい。全国SLAの小林功参事は、乳幼児に本を配る「ブックスタート運動」にならって、成人式に図書カードを配ることをさらに広めるなどして、読書を勧めてはどうかと提案する。面白い考えではないだろうか。

Educational institutions, society and households are urged to exercise their ingenuity in providing younger generations with more opportunities to enjoy reading.
 教育機関や社会、家庭を挙げて、若者たちが大いに読書に親しむ工夫を考えたい。

毎日新聞 2014年09月15日 02時30分
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-09-17 07:25 | 英字新聞

<< iPS細胞移植 再生医療普及へ... 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「女... >>