Rockets Need a Reason to Read

Myah Chaco, Staff

Reading has been a big part of history and society for thousands of years, yet it is a dying favorite. Fewer and fewer people are reading. In India, the average person spends 10 hours and 42 minutes reading a week. This includes reading material for work and school. But in the USA, the average person reads 5 hours and 42 minutes, almost half of what people read in India. Did you know that roughly 44 percent of high schoolers don’t read for enjoyment? Why are high schoolers not reading? There may be a couple of reasons.

One reason might be that those who aren’t reading, actually hate reading. This might be caused by the lack of having the patience it takes to finish a book, the lack of focus it takes to enjoy a book, and lack of reasons to read outside of school. Many young people don’t see a reason to read, or see reading as a challenge for them. All of these reasons can be conquered with practice.

I used to hate reading. I was the kind of person who didn’t see a reason to read or have the patience to finish a book. It took me years before I finished a book I had read just for fun. But when I conquered the things holding me back, I was shown a different world. Now I absolutely love reading! It truly is my favorite thing to do. I understand how hard it is to get yourself to read more, but once you do it is worth it!

Misconceptions about reading can also hold a person back. Some common misconceptions are that reading isn’t cool, reading is boring, or that reading is hard. Sometimes potential readers use the excuse that they are too picky to find a book they like.  Reading gets easier, the more one reads. It’s like working out. If you want to lift heavier weights, you have to start small and work your way up. Don’t be afraid that you won’t find a book you will like. There are nearly 130 million books to choose from! Reading is also not boring. When you find a book you like, you get to dive into the story and make connections with characters who are like you. You can get frustrated at choices they make, then surprised when things work out. You could walk through a hard moment for a character and feel yourself looking inward and soul-searching. Books are not boring;  you just need to be bold enough to explore.

Not only is reading fun, but it is good for you. It can allow your mind to be more creative and empathetic, help you achieve success in the future, increase your intelligence, help you relax and reduce stress, strengthen your memory, and allow you to get to know yourself better. These things have even been scientifically proven!

I went around asking people what their favorite books and authors were. Here are my results; The books that were listed as favorites were Harry Potter, The Book Thief, The Great Gatsby, The Goldfinch, Pride and Prejudice, and Lord of the Rings. Some favorite authors are; Mary Dowinghahn, James Patterson, Stephen King, and Jane Austin. And finally, favorite children’s books; Dr. Seuss, The Magic Tree house, The Berenstain Bears, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and Little House on the Prairie.

Finding a good book can be very hard. People will usually look for a book they can connect with, a story they relate to. Everyone is different, and everyone will want something different. Here are some references from different genres.

The first genre is fantasy fiction. Many have heard of the more common books like Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, and Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. All of these books are amazing, and popular favorites. One not-so-popular fiction book series is called Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas. These books feature an assassin named Celeana Sardothian, who must face trials in a magic-stripped kingdom. She seeks freedom, but has to fight for it. These books include action, suspense, mystery, and romance. The books are a bit longer, starting around 500 pages. But they are worth it. There are so many good fictional books, ask a friend or teacher for more references if these didn’t help.

Another genre is historical or realistic fiction.These books can be hard to read, but really beneficial. One book to consider is The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. This book takes place during World War II, in the middle of Nazi Germany. The protagonist Leisel Meminger, must learn how to survive in a world where doing what is right can get you killed. The book will make you think and make you take a step back to look at the bigger picture. Throughout the book, the mood stays depressing or suspenseful, with few upbeat moments. The ending is sad, but one cannot change what happened during the war. If this book doesn’t sound appealing, try The Hate you Give by Angie Thomas, All the Light We Could Not See by Anthony Doerr, or Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Some people might prefer the romance genre. Romance is tricky because it is hard to find good romance. The cheesy, over-the-top romance is annoying and too much to handle. A classical romance book that is truly worth reading is Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin. It focuses mainly on the two Dashwood sisters Elinor and Marianne, and how they must adjust to their new way of life. They face challenges in their love life, causing tension and confusion. The writing is older and a bit harder to read, but the story behind it is brilliant. If this book is too hard or not interesting take a peek at The Siren by Kiera Cass, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, or Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon.

There are thousands of books out there. If you want more options ask friends, family, and even teachers what their favorite books are. Not every genre of books was covered, and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try out the genres like horror, historical fiction, dystopian, and many others. Books can hold powerful messages or impactful meanings. They can truly change a person. Try out one of the books suggested above, and see if you enjoy it.

     

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