Reading. Some despise it. Many tolerate it. Few love it.
I am among the few. I love reading. I read often and for extended periods of time. I have stayed up until 4 in the morning reading. I've read everything from fantasy to biography to historical fiction to children's books. And I thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
But many of my peers and friends don't feel the same way. It seems that most teenagers don't quite enjoy reading the way I do. So I figured that I would put a few myths that surround reading to rest.
* Reading is boring.
Though some people prefer to spend their time in other ways, if you absolutely despise reading, you are doing it wrong. Some people don't care to take the time that reading requires, some people read a book that they hated, then gave it up, and some people want to avoid the "nerd" persona.
But I have met quarterbacks, artists and committed underachievers who all enjoy reading. Also, if you begin a book with the mind-set that you are going to hate it, you most likely will. You probably just need to find the right book.
* I'll just watch the movie; it's the same as reading the book.
Lies, lies, lies. Movies have limits. Budgets, inadequate technology, avoiding ratings that would alienate their target audience and Nicholas Cage's inability to pass up a role are all factors in making films. When you read, you can't see green screens; you get to cast the entire production, and every conversation, kiss and swing of a blade are all equally important.
* People who read love every book they ever read.
I have maxed out my library card only to come back a few hours later to return every book. I have special-ordered books only to have them sit on the shelf and collect dust. I have sat for the better part of an hour, just staring at the same page of "The Scarlet Pimpernel," trying to work up the motivation to do the assigned reading. I have been in tears of frustration because after 400 hundred pages, my favorite character died on the last page.
I have met lots of books I didn't like.
* I'll read the CliffsNotes to pass the test.
Regardless of what you all-knowing high school students may think, your teachers know about CliffsNotes, and will most likely ask questions about inconsequential details to avoid this. Sorry.
* People who read for fun don't have social lives.
This is a gross generalization. I love reading, but I also love sleeping, and hanging out with my friends, and having "Pretty Little Liars" marathons. Just because I love reading, doesn't mean I can't love anything else.
So, if you have made the decision that you "hate reading," I would encourage you to give it another try. You might like it.
Emily Brown is a sophomore at Bonneville High. She enjoys reading and fangirling over whatever strikes her fancy. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.