Reading: Not Just For Little Kids And Nerds
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Reading: Not Just For Little Kids And Nerds

Why those Harry Potter books are actually the best things you own.

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Reading: Not Just For Little Kids And Nerds

“Once upon a time…”

When I was a little kid, those words opened up endless possibilities: maybe I was about to embark on a fantastic journey to save the universe, or maybe I was navigating the everyday drama of school with my witty best friend by my side. I loved discovering new worlds and embracing new characters that were bolder and lived far more exciting lives than I ever would. But at some point, reading fell out of my routine. As I got older and free time got sparser and sparser, I prioritized other interests, and put reading on the back burner. So far back on the burner, it practically fell off the stove.

Recently, I picked up a book to read for fun for the first time in years. I read the entire book in one sitting. I had forgotten the sensation of being lost in another person’s words, and once I discovered it again, I couldn’t let it go. Reading allowed me to put on temporary blinders to everything else; all the stress and mundane aspects of my reality disappeared in favor of the tribulations and celebrations of the characters.

Turns out, I didn’t completely imagine this feeling. Recent studies show that reading for pleasure, even for as short as 30 minutes a day, has profound positive effects. These effects include increased creativity and empathy. Reading allows insight into another person’s brain, which reduces feelings of loneliness; by reading relatable stories, readers realize they’re not alone in their experiences. Because of this, avid readers are better planners and positive-thinkers, because books allow readers to recognize that ups and downs are an inevitable part of life. Basically, reading is awesome and regular readers report being more satisfied with life.

If reading so great, then why doesn’t everybody read? A lot of people report a disruptive life event as the reason they stopped reading, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce. Others are turned off by reading, claiming that it’s boring, difficult, or not worth spending their time on. Then there are those who have the mindset that I had: reading is nice if you have time, but it’s not a priority. Regardless of the reason you may not be reading now, everyone should try to read more regularly because of the previously mentioned positive effects. However, teenagers and young adults especially can benefit from these effects and should take advantage of them.

Now, most high-schoolers and college students are probably rolling their eyes right about now, but the required school reading is not an accurate representation of what reading actually is. Unfortunately, a lot of students are disinclined to read for fun because they hate reading for school (understandable). But let’s face it, if anyone could use the emotional stability that regular reading provides, it’s teenagers. Being at a transitional point of our lives, having to figure out how to be adults and survive on our own, reading would greatly benefit us during this time. Added benefit: it’s free! What college student doesn’t like free?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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