When I was little I loved to read, I liked being able to escape to a new world for hours without ever leaving my house. As I got older, though, reading became more of a burden than a relief. I would keep buying books that I would never read. I began to feel like a part of me was missing. Reading had always been a part of my life, and now I could barely get through a couple of chapters.
I tried to use this summer to reflect on the past few years and figure how to enrich my life. One answer that kept coming back to me was reading. I wanted to feel the way I felt about reading when I was younger.
This summer I discovered a reading challenge I could participate in. All it required is that I set a goal online and provide updates on books I was reading and mark when I was finished with them. I like to compete against myself so I challenged myself to read 20 books before the end of the year. My parents thought this was a huge jump, I would be going from reading a book a month to a book a week. I was up for the challenge.
I have been successful so far. I’ve read a book a week by setting a goal for how many pages I can read a day and allowing myself to have a day off after I finished a book. Slowly I began to feel better about reading books. The feeling books gave me when I was younger came back. I felt accomplished and inspired by all the different books I read.
The best way for me to learn more about myself and others was reading books. Both fiction and non-fiction books showed aspects of a culture or society that I learned more about. The power of reading is incredible and is a blessing.
I’ve been lucky to grow up that I had access and time for education through books. There are cultures that the demands make it difficult to impossible for people to read. I’ve tried to not to take advantage of my access to books and the influence of these books. Participating in this reading challenge will hopefully give me new perspectives and help me inspire others to pick up a book and let it move them.
Maggie Campbell is a 19-year-old rising sophomore at Ohio University studying journalism. Maggie currently serves on the executive board of the 2015-2016 Society of Professional Journalists National Outstanding Campus Chapter.