School required reading getting you down? Read for fun!

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School required reading getting you down? Read for fun!

Senior Julia Mayer and junior Carly Stewart show off well-read books.

Senior Julia Mayer and junior Carly Stewart show off well-read books.

Senior Julia Mayer and junior Carly Stewart show off well-read books.

Senior Julia Mayer and junior Carly Stewart show off well-read books.

Julia Schwartz, Contributing Writer

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64,531 words. 250 pages. 12 chapters. These are the physical components of an average young adult novel. These numbers may seem daunting, but books are so much more than ink, paper and Kindle. Books can open up new worlds that readers would never experience elsewhere.

 

Books have been an escape for me ever since I was young. Whether I am having a bad day, I am overwhelmed or I just need a change of scenery, books are a source of comfort. The excitement of reading a book for the first time is unlike anything else. A rush of elation courses through my veins each time one of my (many) predictions comes to fruition. And I am easily drawn to well-developed characters. However, not all high school students can say that they feel the same way about reading. I think that most of these students just never attempt to appreciate all the wonderful things that books have to offer.

 

Senior Julia Mayer and junior Carly Stewart show off well-read books.

High schoolers, especially at Solon High School, are bombarded with complex responsibilities that quickly add up. These stressors easily take up time and dissuade many people from reading for fun which causes them to miss out on a plethora of fantastical adventures.

 

Luckily, reading is an incredibly simple stress reliever. Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis proved this in an experiment showing that during reading, the human mind is concentrated on the task at hand. This distraction from everyday stress eases tensions in both the muscles and the heart. But stress is not the only obstacle that is keeping students from appreciating the joy of reading a good book. Some students just don’t find them as riveting as I do.

 

“Reading is less interesting than watching a movie, TV show or seeing a live show,” SHS junior Jacob Smrdel said.

 

In this day and age, students can effortlessly find mind-numbing entertainment via Netflix, Hulu or any cable provider. Yes, these TV shows and movies may captivate students’ attention, but are these truly the only forms of media that can have this effect? Are there other forms of media that can also bewitch students while forcing them to use their well trained brains?

 

One popular TV show that quickly enthralled viewers is “13 Reasons Why,” which happens to be based on a book of the same name by Jay Asher. The show had an obvious positive response from its viewers, having 3,585,110 tweets about it in the first week alone, breaking a Netflix record. There have been many book adaptations to movies and TV shows. A recent one including the movie “Wonder,” based on a book by Raquel Jaramillo, quickly jumped into a top box office spot, earning over $129 million.

 

If these adaptations can captivate viewers so easily, then surely the books they are based off of can do the same. The plot of these shows is almost always what enthralls those who watch them. Thankfully, the books will display the enticing plots in a way that forces the reader to be focused. While watching a movie it is easy to play a game on the phone or indulge in mindless snacking. These distractors will cause the viewer to miss the significant details throughout the production. But, when reading a book these distractors are quickly erased when the reader turns the first crisp page of their favorite book.These books will allow the reader’s imagination to run wild while also entertaining them.

 

Reading a book can release the flow of creative juices allowing the reader to create their own personalized movie scene in their head. A great example of this phenomenon would be “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling. Each individual reader pictures a different version of Harry, Hermione and Ron as they interpret Rowling’s words. Books can also help readers to develop their writing skills.

 

“Reading for fun made me want to be an English major, and it helped my writing a lot,” SHS senior Julia Mayer said. “My writing skills grew so much, mainly because I read for fun and I had that exposure.”

 

Reading for fun can strengthen many other aspects of someone’s life. Reading allows people to have new, exciting things to discuss in conversations with friends and family that are more interesting than the information found effortlessly on social media. Books will offer up this information by discretely discussing topics that push the envelope society has created. This promotes readers to share the information, and their opinion on it, with loved ones.  Also, reading can help with conversations in the workplace and at school.

 

“I like books that my students read. I think that this is a great way to relate to your students,” said SHS Math teacher Mrs. Guseilo. “As teachers, I think it is always important that we are learning new things, one of the best ways to do that is to read.”

There is a book for everyone, so nobody has an excuse to ignore the wonderful benefits of reading. There are so many different genres: fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, romance, science fiction, the list goes on. If anyone says that they don’t like to read, they have not found the right book for them. Just go online, find a list of popular books, obtain the book that draws your attention and READ.

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