Claim to hate reading? False. You read this.


Morgan White, Photographer

Dreaded summer reading assignments and mindless annotations unite students against the pain and grievances of school. However, none are legitimate reasons to flat out hate reading.

We know them: people that proudly announce their hatred of reading. These students boldly, happily, and ignorantly boast that they have not read since middle school. The impossibility and absurdness of that statement that most students quickly forget: using the internet includes reading, as shocking as that may seem, but why are they proud of their supposed illiteracy?

As an avid reader, such people shock me. Reading opens your world and imagination. A good book equates to a good friend, at least for this lifetime reader. I see reading as fundamental in forming a well rounded, educated society. Through reading, you begin to understand the world around you.  You maintain a greater understanding of experiences outside your everyday life.

Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano at the New School for Social Research in New York found that reading enhances the ability to navigate complex social relationships, and that reading literary fiction improves empathy. Simply put, reading makes you a better person, as well as able to communicate and understand society with deeper insight. This obviously kills the stereotype that all readers are socially inept.

Obviously, factors can impact people’s lives that change the way they feel about reading. My brothers always had trouble enjoying reading. The problem stemmed from disliking school reading assignments. The trick: finding something compelling enough that they forget they read in the first place. Textbooks may not seem interesting (duh, it’s a book with rote facts). Novels, on the other hand, are distinctive. There will always be a story to enjoy or even devour.

Reading always played a serious and important role in my life, enough of a role that an eye doctor actually told my mother to limit my reading because I was straining my eyes. Have you ever heard of a parent told to limit reading?

It makes me sad that I attend school with people who choose not to engage in such a amazing experience. I challenge you all to read at least one something this year, even if just a magazine. I promise you will leave the experience a better, deeper thinker.