read for pleasure

For The Love Of Reading, We Need To Take Time To Read For Pleasure

Time spent reading for pleasure is never time wasted.

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This past semester, I was in one of my favorite English classes that I've ever taken. This class was a survey course, ENGL 3820, History of English Literature: 18th Century to Present. It was on the last day of this class that I loved so much that one of the professors shared a statistic that shocked me.

According to a study he read recently, at the rate it is currently declining, pleasure reading in America will have all but disappeared by the 2050s.

I was honestly stunned when I heard it. How could that many people stop reading so quickly? How could so few people be reading for pleasure already that we're even this close to it becoming extinct?

I don't have an answer to my question, but I can say that we need to turn this statistic around. For the love of reading, for the love of art, we need to get more people picking up a book because they genuinely want to, not because someone assigned it to them. I don't have answers, just a real passion for the written word and its power.

For me, books have been friends in lonely times, adventures when I feel stuck, a comfortable home when I'm somewhere unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Books have the power to make us feel things, the power to stretch our imaginations and broaden our horizons all from your favorite little reading spot.

In one of the hardest times of my life, books were more of a solace than I ever realized they could be. The comfortable weight of a book between my hands is one that I will always love. The smell of paper, ink, and coffee is one that will forever make me stop and just think to myself "ahhhhh."

This is why I simply cannot understand how reading for pleasure, the genuine love for reading, could possible die out. How can people suddenly not care that entire worlds are waiting for them to discover? How could someone not be interested in solving a murder mystery, exploring a haunted house, traveling the world, recovering from emotional trauma, or even pure fantasy? The more I try to wrap my head around the concept, the more confused I become. With the whole wide world of books out there, how can there not be at least one that suits everyone?

Is it a culture problem? Are we too overstimulated by technology? Is it because there aren't as many characters on TV shows that love to read anymore? Is it because people are lazy? Or can they just not find what suits them? Maybe we could fix the issue by encouraging kids to read like we encourage them to go out for sports. Maybe better funding to libraries is the answer. Maybe we all just need to learn to take more intentional time to read. To be honest, I have no idea.

The two professors left us by saying that they were sending us out as readers to help change that statistic, to prove it wrong. I'm not saying that everyone needs to become a big reader, but I am saying that we need to protect reading as an institution, as an art form, as a free expression of imaginative thought. It might sound like a little issue, but, for me at least, it's got big meaning and I can't stand to see it disappear.

Cover Image Credit:

Lily Snodgrass

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14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."

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In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

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The 7 Best Food Places Near UCLA You Need to Try ASAP

We have great dining food AND restaurants around us? Wow, we are #blessed.

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Westwood is the home to UCLA and offers plenty of interesting and diverse dining options for students and locals alike. Since the area is firmly Bruin territory, you will find lots of on-the-go, affordable eats along with a mix of more modern and upscale restaurants.

Though I definitely haven't had all the food Westwood occurs, being here two years now (omg already!?), I think I can safely recommend certain places to eat.

1. Shamshiri Grill

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South Westwood Boulevard is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of that area is just Persian restaurants. Shamshiri Grill just makes the best meat and whenever I go there, I always order my meal with their special hot sauce, that is to DIE for. A must try.

2. Gushi

I can not tell you how many times I've been to this place. Located near Fat Sal's, you may be tempted to just miss it but let me tell you that is a mistake. I always get their Gushi Bowl which is just heavenly and the right amount to make me feel satisfied without being too filling. Be generous with the Teriyaki and Sriracha sauces on your meat and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

3. Pinches Tacos

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I know Mexican food is very common wherever you go but Pinches Tacos is aesthetically pleasing and their food? Even more so. It just tastes so good! I definitely recommend the Asada fries and any tacos.

4. Saffron and Rose

Saffron and Rose is a Persian ice cream parlor like 10 minutes away from Shamshiri Grill and the quality and variety of ice cream is truly impressive. I would not have known my weakness for Jasmine ice cream if I hadn't tried this place and as always, the Saffron and Rose (it's namesake) deserves to be the name of the restaurant because of how rich in flavor it is.

5. Maharaja

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I am very particular about my Indian food but the buffets in the afternoons at Maharaja definitely passes my checklist. I actually went there for my birthday so that just tells you how the food doesn't disappoint.

6. Nekter Juice Bar

I found out about this place very recently and I'm so glad I did because their bowls are so good. They also serve smoothies which I haven't had the pleasure to taste yet but I expect the same kind of quality. I am very partial to the Bruin Bowl and the Dragonfruit Bowl.

7. BJs

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They have $3 Pizookies on Tuesday.

I am always there on Tuesday.

Are these two facts connected? Maybe.

What can I say? I just love the restaurants here.

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