There are two types of people in this world: those who love to read and those who would rather have their teeth pulled than read another book.
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The fact of the matter is that not too many teenagers like to read. When we’re required to flip page after page, absorbing word after word of seemingly useless information, we tend to lose interest in reading “for fun.” Additionally, most times students find themselves digging through SparkNotes or Wikipedia to find useful information about narratives and plot points rather than digging for it themselves and risking a papercut. Instead of accepting a nudge in the direction of proficient literacy, as English classes are attempting to do, teenagers often fall face down in boredom only to turn back to their phones and menial tasks.
Despite the struggle, not all hope is lost for the generation of tomorrow! When you may believe that you “hate” reading, in reality you may have just not found your cup of tea. Finding a good book is just like searching for the type of music that speaks to you, or the type of clothing that expresses your style. It can seem daunting to try to find a good book that wasn’t written by John Green or hasn’t already been turned into a movie you saw last summer. As teenagers, your smartphone more than likely has this incredible thing called Google. Chances are, if you know your favorite movie genre, there are a multitude of great books that follow those same ideas.
Through each character's dialogue, as well as a well-developed plot line, you’re not only gaining an understanding of the world around you, but of yourself as well. When you’re reading a book and every minute detail of the scenery may not be explained, there is room left for imagination and literal reading between the lines. As the reader, you are able to use your left brain to create a space where the dialogue or situations are taking place, allowing yourself to become further immersed in the story.
I encourage you to give reading a chance and embrace the invaluable lessons that can be attained while exploring literature. Reading can be a truly introspective and beautiful thing.
Hello, my name is Zaria Whitacre and I am 17 years old. I am on the Child Advocacy Team at Bolton Refuge House, member of my high school’s student council, student newspaper, public relations officer for my school’s chapter of Amnesty International, and a member of Teen Literacy Initiative. I write for Affinity Magazine, Noise Complaint, and make frequent submissions to my hometown newspaper. I wish to inspire others to stand up for their beliefs, be confident, and always compassionate to those you don’t understand. I’m not sure what I want to do in the future, but I know I want happiness for myself and those around me.