Before you scrunch your brow at the implication of the headline (because obviously everyone should read, no?), here is some much-needed context:
Reading is my passion. Books are my best friends. Books have gotten me through critical points in my life, providing a security blanket after first-grade me ran out of the room in an after-school program, terrified out of my wits after watching the climactic scenes in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Or simply providing satisfactory entertainment that doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth of superficialism. Books have gotten me through life when I felt I needed comfort in the form of an otherly world to dive into.
“What is the actual importance of reading?” you may inquire.
Diverging from my knowledge of literature, reading has the potential to plant seeds of knowledge, invite deep reflection on thought-provoking biographies of former First Ladies, channel themes of love and war and peace, and bluntly call out long-lasting societal issues (your book recommendation for the day: “Fahrenheit 451”, a book that especially showcases the true power of books and the sharing of ideas ).
In modern times, reading seems to be on the decline. Or at least in my sheltered bubble of life. I was always “the reader,” the “class bookworm”, or the “book convert”- wherever I went. My closest friends would not read as much as I did, if they read at all.
However, in the wake of COVID-19, reading has seen a much-needed comeback in America. As reported by NPR, the weekly rate of e-book borrowing has rapidly increased by almost 50% after March 9. Young adult fiction e-book lending has risen a similar amount.
Perhaps having “more time” enables us to spend it reading more. But that line of thinking is flawed; you can make time for anything (check out the book “Make Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky). Consequently, set a part of your weekend aside to browse “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, or learn the secrets to becoming the ideal Prince in the book, “The Prince”, by Niccolò Machiavelli (not to be confused with “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).
Read. Educate yourself. Free the confinements of your imagination. Explore reality and the impossible. Entertain the contemplation of one-footed dwarves, alternative realms of beloved fantasy tropes, magical spells and a concealed chamber of secrets, a lively-minded and educated sister, and a young girl with fiery pigtails with a temper to match.
Despite the rise in technology, books will always remain as a constant, flexible fixture in society; having conquered frequent vigorous wars of book burnings and bannings in the past, defying the monarchy of technology is but a small feat.
Release your stress, worries, and anxiety. Reading can change your perspective and mindset forever. Don’t forget: read more, hopefully starting with one of the recommendations below.
- C.S. Lewis’ “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” — one-footed dwarves
- Chris Colfer’s “The Land of Stories” series — fantasy tropes
- J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series: magical spells and secret chamber
- Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” — educated sister
- L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” — a young girl with fiery pigtails
- Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” — power of books
- Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky’s “Make Time” — make time
- Markus Zusak’s “The Book Thief” — a book thief
- Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince” — prince secrets
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince” — prince secrets