Reading is fun

Social media, video games and required reading in school have forced society to forget about the bliss of diving into a good book

Social media, video games and books required to read in school have forced society to forget about the bliss and comfort of diving into a good book.

By Taylir Charest

Social media, video games and books required to read in school have forced society to forget about the bliss and comfort of diving into a good book.

Taylir Charest, JAG editor-in-chief

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Whenever I tell someone I read, I get one of two reactions: “That’s boring” or “I wish I could like reading.” Some people will also make up excuses that they don’t have any time to read, but trust me, everyone can make the time. Whether it’s picking up a book and reading a few pages after completing a test, or reading a chapter before bed, there’s time to read. Instead of reaching for your phone during downtime at school or scrolling through TikTok for hours before going to sleep at night, pick up a book.

With social media apps like Snapchat, reality TV shows like “The Bachelor” or even video games, the beauty of reading seems to be lost. I could give the spiel about how reading is good for the brain and what not, but I like reading because it gives people an escape from screens that we seem to stare at all day. It gives the mind time to forget about what’s going on in the world and only focus on the world that’s turning in the book. Reading is relaxing. It reduces stress and anxiety levels and allows people to exercise their imagination.

To really find the joy in reading, cracking open a book that is easily relatable is key.”

Reading often gets a bad rep because of books that students are forced to read in school and in that case, not many students even read them. The minute someone asks me to read, I suddenly don’t want to do it anymore. Additionally, I don’t like being given a timeline to read a book. I can’t even check books out at our local library because I feel too much pressure to read them within a certain time period. In reality, I could finish a book within as little as a day or up to two weeks. When I am reading a book slower than I normally do, I tend to notice I’m not as interested in it. Most of the time, I’ll just move onto another book. It’s not worth wasting time reading something unenjoyable.

The books we read in school aren’t bad, but for most people, they don’t capture enough of their attention and they’re not reading about something they can enjoy or relate to easily. To really find the joy in reading, cracking open a book that is easily relatable is key. One of my favorite quotes is from the book “We All Looked Up” by Tommy Wallach: “The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world. You’re part of this cosmic community of people who’ve thought about this thing, whatever it happens to be.”

Reading takes practice and focus, and it’s not for everyone, but finding a book that’s entertaining makes it fun. That’s right. I said it. Reading is fun. The more you read the better you get. It’s just like a sport. They way we prioritize our schedule, and whether or not we can acquire the self control to put down our phone and pick up a book, is where it starts.

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