Books are places of unlimited knowledge, fantastical worlds, and beautiful places to discover adventure. The unfortunate issue is that many students either have limited time to read or detest reading because of how core curriculum treats reading as more of ‘chore’ rather than an enlightening hobby. 26 percent (around a quarter) of American admitted to not having read a single book in an entire year, per a study from Pew Research Center. That lack of free reading has some detrimental effects and may students are unaware of the benefits that reading holds. For example, a research study conducted by the University of Toronto found that individuals who read more (mainly fiction) tested that they were more open-minded than their counterparts who wrote less. People who read more improve brain function, are more creative, reduces stress, and increases your knowledge.
I am an avid reader and have been since the day I could pick up a book and read the story written. When I was younger, I had an insatiable appetite for books. I could devour a whole series within a matter of weeks. By the fifth grade, I read all of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Twilight Saga while I was in the middle of the Hunger Games Trilogy and The Mortal Instruments series. Throughout my middle school years, I spent more time in the library with a pile of books than hanging out with kids my own age. I read nearly every book in the young adult section of the public library near my school when I finished seventh grade. However, when high school rolled around, I found myself at a loss for time due to all the homework and classwork. That lack of time contributed to my lessened consumption of books. My hunger to read didn’t lessen but my ability to did. Recently, I’ve made more of an effort to read more, and that effort has made such a difference.
As someone with an extensive history as a huge reader, I have the following advice about how you can improve your relationship with reading.
-Make time to read. This is the biggest issue many people cite as their inability to read. In our technology-addicted society, there is no shortage of people who spend aimless amounts of time scrolling through their phones to pass the time. Instead of refreshing the same social media page for the hundredth time in the last ten minutes, a book would be a better alternative to passing the time. Small moments here and there add up and that time is ripe for a read.
-Find books that interest you. Another issue is that people often choose books that aren’t going to engage them. The problem with school curriculum is that many of the books can be stale and uninteresting to a majority of the students. That applies to out of school as well. Many people have a struggle picking out a book they might like. Figure out what interests you and spend a decent amount of time at your local library or bookstore to select some books that pique your interests. They don’t even have to be books! Magazines and fanfiction are also suitable substitutes to indulge in with many examples of the latter being of better quality than some books.
-Pick a location that makes you comfortable. The location of where you read also makes a huge impact. Some places that I would suggest curling up with a good book: in a cafe/coffee shop, in a recliner chair, on a bench in the park, in a comfy chair at the library or some other quiet place. You want to find a place that delivers a nice ambiance while providing limited distractions to keep you from reading.
-Join a book club or read with some friends. Maybe you need a little motivation to read a bit more, and that motivation can come from a book club/your friends. Finding people who share a commonality with you by reading the same book or similar books can create lasting bonds. Not to mention, they would be a resource to find more books you might like.
-Curate a music playlist. If you’re anything like me, I can easily get distracted in the beginning stages of reading. Listening to music while reading a book can be a soothing experience. You can choose tracks that give a similar vibe to the book, and that enhances the emotional experience of a book.
Reading is one of the most enjoyable activities out there. Books have the power to transport you into another world, but we lose the opportunity to explore those unknown worlds when we shun reading. Therefore, we must all realize that reading is the key that many of us are missing.
Teenagers With Experience is an online platform ran by teenagers for teenagers. We provide support through sharing our own experiences and providing advice based from this. If you need support, feel free to reach out to us on one of our social media platforms. We will do our best to support you and if we feel we cannot we will direct you to more suited, professional support.