Reading adds relaxation to stressful lives

Photo by William WheatleyAphaia Lambert-Harper (12) takes some time out of her day to read a book. Reading books has given many students an oppurtunity to escape from reality. “I like reading because you can travel around the world inside your own head,” stated Karina Smolyuk (12)
Photo by William Wheatley
Aphaia Lambert-Harper (12) takes some time out of her day to read a book. Reading books has given many students an oppurtunity to escape from reality. “I like reading because you can travel around the world inside your own head,” stated Karina Smolyuk (12)

Selvi Sekar

     When was the last time you read a book for enjoyment? If you haven’t read one in awhile, you’re not alone. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, on average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching television, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time reading.

     So, why is it that most teenagers find reading incredibly boring? We could rely on the fact that they don’t have free time to spend reading or that they’re just plain lazy.

     Another possibility is that gadgets such as iPads, iPhones, and game consoles are guaranteed to keep teenagers occupied. With all these thrilling modern devices, it’s becoming increasingly rare to see a teenager pick up a book and read these days.

     Struggling to fit in extracurricular activities and ample amount of homework into our days is hard enough, let alone finding time in our busy schedules to read; however, when our lives get a bit too stressful, reading provides us the type of relaxation we need.

     Based on a Hereford Harbinger survey, the most common reason students don’t read enough is because they rarely have free time and it’s only enjoyable if they’re reading a good book that they actually like, not some tiresome book they’re forced to read in school.

     Some students even ranted about how they’re unable to read books for enjoyment now because so much of their time is spent reading dull, uninteresting books for school.

     “It’s too time-consuming and the books are just more junk to carry home,” Cody Reachard (10) stated.

     “I used to love reading, but now I don’t have enough free time to read,” Katie Barr (12) said.

     Jheni Rose (12) said, “I enjoy reading books that are interesting, but not books for school because they’re all boring.”

     This brings up the question: Should students be allowed to choose what books they read for school?

     English and Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Lisa Sopher, said, “Students should have the freedom to read what they want independently, but compulsory reading is important as well.”

     Mrs. Sopher also believes that reading is important because it “develops verbal skills and makes us better writers and communicators.”

     While many students think reading is boring or time-consuming, other students enjoy it and have found time in their busy schedules to read.

     For instance, Liza-Jane Bowling (12), who balances schoolwork, acts in theatrical productions, and is the President of Student Council at Hereford said, “I love reading! I recently read The Hobbit. It was such a great and adventurous book.”

     Another student, Karina Smolyuk (12) stated, “I like reading because you can travel around the world inside your own head, and it’s better than most movies. I usually read around 30 books a year.”

     Let’s put it this way – if you think reading is boring, you’re simply doing it wrong. Finding the right book that you actually enjoy may be difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible. Depending on your interests, whether it may be mysteries, romance, sports (or even vampires…) you can find a great book to read. Sure, it may take awhile rummaging through book shelves at the library, but it will be worth it once you find the right one.

     Reading a book provides the ultimate escape from reality. It opens a window to a whole new world, giving us vision and imagination of events we never dreamt possible. From the comfy couch in your living room, you can travel the whole world. You don’t need a passport, a bank account full of money, or a plane ticket. All it takes is a good book.