Fact or Fiction? The benefits of reading
books you choose
By Lillian Doiron-Wahlstrom, Reporter
As students, we are often required to read assigned books for class, but these books are frequently out of touch with what students actually want to read about. Many books we are told to read are simply not relevant to the realities of current students and their interests. If you listen, it’s common to hear people in the halls dreading English class because of the book they were assigned, though there is one way to personally escape the tyranny of boring books: reading what you want to read.
When you go out and choose a book of your own to read, it provides a sense of freedom. You can explore new worlds through books and you can even manage to learn more about yourself by seeing what you like and dislike. You can choose what type of book you want and what genre interests you, whether that be a memoir, fiction, or poetry. It is up to you to choose and seek out what excites you.
Reading fiction especially can be a release from the stressors in our world. Reading has been proven to relieve anxiety and increase emotional intelligence. Reading even just a little bit each day can open your mind to ideas you may have never even considered before.
Often teachers assign us books for us to read, they serve the purpose to enhance or educate us on a subject, but when you choose to read fiction, you do not have that expectation of gaining specific knowledge which can be an invigorating feeling.
I used to choose not to read in my free time because it felt like a chore, but I realized that does not have to be the case. Reading fiction in your free time can transport you to new worlds and prompt you to think in ways you haven’t by presenting information in a more unconventional way than your average textbook. Reading fiction demands you connect to the characters and see their point of view which inspires empathy. In a way, reading for pleasure makes us better people. We can expand our understanding of the world around us, learn lessons, and gain a better sense of the people we surround ourselves with.
Reading fiction has been proven to be a positive pastime that not only can teach but also inspire empathy and creativity. For many, reading is a way they feel represented and provides a safe space for them to find themselves. Reading inspires connection between people and that is a unique thing. No matter what you choose to read, it is an important skill to cultivate and grow. Despite the benefits, it’s in the end up to you to decide if reading is a priority in your life. All I recommend is to just pick up a book and start reading; you never know what you might discover.