I have met countless people in high school and college who say, “I’m not a reader” or “I don’t read,” but guess what, if they made it to high school they’re a reader, and if you just read this sentence, congratulations, you’re a reader too.
I understand though, some people don’t pick up a book the first moment they have leisure time.
I have a friend that’s an engineering major and all I hear from him is how he hates reading. Even for school he tells me he doesn’t do the readings because he “doesn’t like to read.”
- I don’t get how he passes his classes…
- It’s kind of sad
But don’t tell him this… he’s still a reader.
We all read the menus at restaurants, labels on food, newspapers, movie titles, blogs, and signs on the road. There is a reason as to why the first thing we learn when starting school is reading and writing, and even before that.
Let me tell you why my friend and others claim, “I’m not a reader.” Let’s go back to elementary school. You’re mom just handed you a book and you have a confused look on your face. Why is it a requirement to read this book before school is even in session? Then the words “summer reading” come out of your mom’s mouth and this book now claims the end of your summer. You have no interest in it. Why are there no pictures in it? Why would your teacher pick such a tasteless thing to read over the summer?
This is just the beginning of being forced to read for school and these are books that you have absolutely no desire in reading. Plus there’s a deadline! How dare teachers assign a reading the night of the big basketball game!
I’ve been in the shoes of reading several books for school that I have no interest in. I get halfway through and I’m dozing off because there is nothing good about it. But then I realize, this book isn’t supposed to be for pleasure, it’s for school and I’m learning something from it. That’s what school is for; learning something you wouldn’t on your own.
There are books that I have read cover to cover for school. For example, “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro and “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien I’ve had to read for two different classes in the past and I loved them. There are also books that I barely made it to the end and I had to crawl out of the other side. But the reason many people haven’t liked school reading is because none of these books are topics they’re interested in and they’re not supposed to be.
Do you like sports? I can bet your teacher isn’t going to assign a book based on Lebron James or the NFL, but they do exist! Do you like romance novels? Cause I can assure you, most of those books won’t be found on your teacher’s bookshelf in her classroom. School reading and pleasure reading are two different things.
School reading makes a lot of people not be interested in such an amazing thing and it’s because kids have to take classes that don’t interest them. There are so many benefits to reading that no one should say, “I don’t read.”
The minute you pick up that first book that you enjoy, your life changes. You open the pages to a world you didn’t even know could exist. It’s exactly what you pictured in your head and for once you finished a book (that has no pictures in it) in a few days because you couldn’t put it down. You decide to read it again, find information on the author and find something similar to it to read next.
Maybe it was for school or maybe you ran into it at the little coffee shop waiting for your macchiato to be ready. Why you started reading the book doesn’t matter, you loved it either way.
Books can be found almost anywhere: at your local grocery store, the nearest Barnes & Noble, or even a used bookshop. You’re favorite book is probably on that shelf waiting to be read to immerse you into an unknown world you never knew existed. Please, go get yourself a book that your teacher did not assign you and see how much you’ll enjoy reading. It’s life changing.
– Kristin Kaschalk