I remember when I was younger, like, in elementary school. Every quarter I had to read a certain number of books and take a test on them. At the end of the year, I got a trophy for exceeding my necessary AR points for the year.

I loved reading. I still do.

However, these days, it seems like people are more preoccupied with the lives of celebrities than they are with exploring the great unknown that is literature.

Instead of being excited for the release of "The President is Missing" by James Patterson and former President Bill Clinton, many people are more focused on "Olivia's bonding day with Daisy: Actress goes make-up free on a casual stroll with her daughter in LA."

Instead of looking up to Hermione Granger, young girls are looking up to Kylie Jenner. Instead of looking up to Alex Cross, young boys are looking up to Kendrick Lamar.

Why do so many people only want to read when there is a prize or a punishment involved? Is the pleasure of escaping to an unknown realm created by your own imagination not cool enough?

The tabloids may provide you with the latest gossip in Hollywood, but books give you so much more:

Stress reduction

Mental stimulation

Expanded vocabulary

Increased empathy

Better memory

and the list goes on!!!

This summer, instead of keeping up with the latest and greatest, try reading a real book. You will not be disappointed.