By Carly Allen, Guest BloggerOctober 1, 2015
I’ve been an avid reader from the time I was very small. I can still recall learning to read Go, Dog Go! before I entered kindergarten. I remember the satisfying feeling of leaving the public library with my arms full of Mary-Kate and Ashley chapter books. I will never forget the time I pulled my first all-nighter in high school because I could not bear to put down The Book Thief.
Books are so appealing to me because regardless of what is happening in my life, they never fail to act as magical portals to another world. I’ve learned a lot and gained an abundance of insight from reading, which is why I am disheartened when I hear people, especially young people, express a lack of interest in books.
As a recent college graduate, I notice many of my peers don’t read books frequently, if at all, and it is because they simply don’t have to. Even though I love to read, I know it’s easy to forget about it when it’s not assigned. Our lives can get so hectic that something like reading seems trivial and begins to slip through the cracks.
I am guilty of letting this happen myself, but I’m reminded of how vital reading is every time I pick up a book.
Reading allows us to be vulnerable and it fosters our emotional maturity. It provides us with a better sense of empathy and an understanding of ideas we may never encounter otherwise.
While reading can be categorized as a leisure activity, it’s beneficial regardless of your job or area of study. Reading strengthens your analytical thinking skills and expands your vocabulary, which will be important in any career you pursue. It’s also a way to increase your existing knowledge. You can learn something new from any book you choose to read and that is an amazing thing!
I have some quick tips for any non-readers out there or for people who want to read more often, but don’t know how to get started. Reading regularly may seem like a challenge, but it’s actually easier than you think!
1. Pick ANY book: The great thing about reading independently is that you can choose to read about whatever you like! There are books written on millions of different topics, so I guarantee you can find something that aligns with your interests. Don’t feel pressured to read a certain type of book based on other people’s opinions. Anything that gets you to read is the right book for you. Make sure to take advantage of your resources and go to your school or local public library if you don’t know where to start.
2. Set goals: You don’t have to read a book a week like some crazy people (me). You can start small. Maybe just a chapter a night, or even a book a month. Whatever works best for you!
3. Push through: Sometimes it takes a while to really sink your teeth into a book. Maybe you don’t connect with the main character immediately, and that’s okay. Sometimes it takes a few chapters before you really get a feel for the book you’re reading. Don’t give up too soon!
4. Substitute with a book: A lot of people claim they don’t have time to read, but it’s always possible to make time. Think about small time-wasters that occur throughout your day.
You know that 20 minutes you spend on your phone before you go to bed? Spend it with a book instead.
5. Use reading as stress relief: Like any busy person, it is likely that you stress pretty hard sometimes. Replace that time with reading, and you’ll be a much healthier and happier person.
Enjoy and read on!
Got a great book rec to share? Tell us below!
Carly has a BS in English Literature from The College at Brockport. She interns at a literacy center in New York State and can often be found under a pile of books and various writing projects. She loves traveling, Netflix, dance parties, and trying new foods. Her pride and joy is a chubby guinea pig named Charlie. You can check out her personal blog at thecommonbrightgirl.wordpress.com
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