CHS students should consider spending more time reading in their free time

CHS students should consider spending more time reading for fun.


When I was a child, if you ever wanted to know where I was, there was a 95 percent chance you would find me with my face buried in a new book. The other 5 percent of the time comprised of me going to school, eating or sleeping, most likely wishing I could go back to the book I was reading at the moment.

Back in the olden days, when there were no smart phones to occupy all of our time or social media to keep me busy, books were my only form of entertainment, as well as my friends. Through stories, I was transported to different dimensions and lived different lives: solving crimes, learning wizardry at Hogwarts, battling demons, traveling the world through a magic tree house, solving mysteries, finding a whole new world behind a wardrobe and so much more.  My life was constantly full of adventures and it required me to go no further than my very own bed. It was a truly exhilarating time.

Fast forward to the age of the smart phone, where no one, myself included, has any time to do something as time-consuming as reading. Now, we are too busy constantly checking Instagram and maintaining Snapchat streaks and sub-tweeting and keeping up-to-date on the latest celebrity gossip and binge-watching every show on Netflix and getting stuck in never-ending group chats. We spend countless hours on the Internet each day and after that, there is little time left for anything else, especially something as dreadful-sounding as sitting down to read an actual book.

However, although it is something we don’t typically spend time on, there are countless benefits to reading, that no one really notices. A study done in 2014 by the University of Sussex found reading can reduce stress by as much as 68 percent, which is something that would be greatly appreciated by almost any high school student. In addition, reading also improves cognitive function and language comprehension, both of which are greatly needed and used within school.

Taking a little time out of your day just to pick up a good book can have so many rewards, not to mention, it is lots of fun and can allow you to escape into another world or learn something new that you may not be able to discover within school.

Those who say they simply hate reading, just haven’t found the right book yet. As of today, there are about 130 million unique published books within the world and more and more are added to that list everyday. That means there’s literally something for everyone, and there’s no way to argue against that unless you have read every single one of them, so you better get started soon. Take a chance and try some of them. Who knows? Maybe reading won’t be so bad after all.

However, I know as the school year goes on and we accumulate more homework, finding time to sit and read for fun can be difficult and time-consuming. I have seen my own leisure reading levels drop significantly upon starting high school because I have so much other work to do. But whenever I do get a few minutes, I’ll let myself delve into a new story and go back to the adventures I lived when I was younger.

Even if you are not an avid reader or someone who even enjoys reading, it is still a good idea to try to find a book that could pique your interest. There has to be at least one book out there which we are all interested in. Take advantage of the large media center at this school and Carmel Clay Public Library across the street, as well as Half Price Book stores. All of those resources have hundreds upon hundreds of books that you can take full advantage of.

So, next time when you have a few extra minutes before class or you finish your homework early, try taking out a good book, instead of going on another social media spree. We all need a break, and personally, I think a vacation to Hogwarts is the best way to spend it.