An Open Letter To Those Who Don't Like Reading
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An Open Letter To Those Who Don't Like Reading

You don't know what you're missing.

An Open Letter To Those Who Don't Like Reading
Eli Samuelu

To those who don't like reading,

Reading has always been an important part of my life. I read thousands of pages every year, and feel empty when I do not have a book to pick up in times of boredom. Because of this, I find it absolutely ludicrous that you do not enjoy reading, and even more so that you feel the need to say you “hate” reading and that you only read in school. You are seriously missing out.

I am not crazy because I read books for fun. I am not trying to get ahead in classes or perfect my ability to analyze literature. I read because I genuinely enjoy it. The fact that you say you do not enjoy it leads me to believe you have never read a good book before, and therefore cannot have a valid opinion until you find one.

Reading is not boring. Reading is more than the classic novel your English teacher assigned to you against your will, promising a lengthy exam at the end of the unit. Reading is watching TV in your head. It is the joy of finding that book you can’t put down, staying up way later than you should and only finding joy in sleep when you are past the point of recognizing words or have finished the novel. Reading is rushing to get to the end of the book only to result in depression when it’s over and you can’t spend time with the characters anymore. Reading is excitement.

Reading is not something that only smart people can do. Reading is not something that only fast readers can do. Just because you hate English class does not mean you have to hate reading, and reading does not have to be viewed as something nerdy or boring. Until you find a book you enjoy, one that feels to you as if a movie reel is being played in your head with each sentence, you may think this. But you will be utterly wrong.

To love reading is to cry over the death of a character, to shake your fist at the sociopathy of the author who kills off someone before their time (but to also understand why they did it), and to, sometimes, throw a book across the room because you can’t stand to read another sentence until you calm down. Reading is also falling in love with a character, understand his or her happiness and feeling it in your heart too, and finishing a book with satisfaction that your character will go on to live a fulfilling life. This does happen every now and then.

Think about your favorite TV show, and the reasons why you love it. Maybe it features a setting you enjoy, or a subject you can relate to. Maybe you love the character development or the feisty romance between two lovers; maybe you love the violence or the mystery or the action. Now, think about this: there are hundreds of thousands of more books out there than there are TV shows. (Maybe the show was even based on a book). You can find a book with similar themes to the show you love. You can find multiple books. You just have to look.

So, to you I say: pick up a book and give it a try. Find one that actually interests you, and if you don’t like it, stop reading it. Find another one. Search online for books that suit your interests, ones that are at your reading level and involve subjects that you will

not find boring and that will not make you say you hate reading. Ask your book-lover friends for recommendations (believe me; they’re happy to give them) and actually try out the books they suggest to you. To not experience the love of books is not miss out on a vital experience of life: seeing the world through the eyes of an author and a character all at once. You will fall in love. If you don’t, you just haven’t found the right book.

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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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