The joy that free reading offers

Joe Freer–  Reporter

A college student’s workload is often overbearing and rigorous, filled with so much reading that is easy to forget how to enjoy it. Just the thought of reading is associated with academic work, and seems to push students away. School indirectly puts a stigma on reading that it’s mainly for research, studying and analytical purposes, but we can’t forget the most important reason for reading: finding rich stories. 

As people get older, it seems they forget about the joy reading books offered in their youth; how their mind paints a picture that television and computer screens cannot. Think back to the elementary school days when children first start reading chapter books like Harry Potter, The Lightning Thief or A Wrinkle in Time, most of them were filled with relatable main characters who go through epic journeys in unique worlds and made new friends along the way. All of these books featured heroes that many of us still remember even now in our adult years and many of us are still part of the fandoms as well. With Disney’s 2018 adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, all three of these series have hit the big screen in some capacity, which is amazing because it is another form of media that can carry on the stories, but movie versions will never outshine the authenticity of book versions. Movie adaptations create stunning visuals and can bring people’s favorite stories to life, but those adaptations could mute the personal interpretations taken from reading. The way a reader imagines what a scene in a story looks like is completely individualistic and therefore gives a different understanding and reaction to each person. 

The more I freely read, the more I workout my mind, the more I strengthen skills applicable to much of the college career. Moreover, free reading is a stimulating way to relax after a stressful day juggling the classes, jobs and internships. While free reading, the reader does not have to worry about memorizing information for tests, or interpreting the book like an literature critic. The only thing that should be on the reader’s mind is if he or she is enjoying the story or not. It is one of the few truly judge free, individually catered activities a person can do.  And there are so many great stories that are accessible right here on campus. Buley Library has a shelf next to the attendant’s desk, wherein suggested free read books are cycled, that are worth looking through. If none of those interest you, many staff members would be happy to point eager readers in the right direction.  

I am an English major, and hopefully a future literacy teacher, so reading has been something I have always tried to keep up with. I, too am guilty with watching Netflix after long days, but for the last two years or so I have been actively trying to read almost everyday. Since I have been doing this I have seen my productivity increase, my writing skills get better and my overall creativity in other interests like guitar playing have increased as well. Not to mention, I discovered one of the  most entertaining series I have ever read called Poet Anderson which you should all check out. Trust me, it is worth the read.

Photo Credit: August Pelliccio


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