Reading really does push, challenge

Riley Newell, News Editor

My relationship with reading has not always been the best.  

Whenever I could, I tried to avoid it, but with ‘TikTok’ reintroducing me to books with romance, mystery and drama, I haven’t been able to stop reading this past month. 

Over this past year my sister has constantly been buying new books, her new favorite hobby is reading. When she let me borrow one of her books, I began to understand why she was obsessed with them.  

The first book I read was, “It Ends With Us,” by Colleen Hoover. I had been seeing it all over ‘TikTok’ and when I spotted it on my sister’s bookshelf, I couldn’t help but ask to borrow it. The second I started reading it I couldn’t stop; it was amazingly written, from the plot to the little details that made you feel like you were in it. It addressed issues like abuse and relationships in a way that helped me understand the experience and point of view better.   

For the longest time my biggest struggle was not reading the right books, I picked up a book and then five seconds later put it back down. Being in the world we live in with social media and phones, I have a very small attention span. Looking down and seeing a page full of words just to flip to the next page and see another page full of words scares me. 

My brain takes a while to process things, longer than it should. Reading a whole book takes me what feels like forever. A lot of the time I’m reading just to read and not reading to comprehend what is being said. I don’t know if this is because I am tired most, if not all the time, or if it’s because my brain just likes to be lazy. With that being said, reading has challenged me to focus and understand not only the story but the little details that are presented within the story. 

Books are much more important than many people think. They can not only increase your vocabulary but strengthen your problem-solving skills. If you think about it, most problems have already been solved in books. There are many things like space that have yet to be explored to their extent; but things like war and family problems have been written about and have solutions written within books.  

Reading has not only challenged me, but it has helped me to have a healthier daily routine. Especially on weekends I like to lay in bed, watch TV and scroll through Instagram. Reading has really helped me reduce my time on social media and with the negativity and addictiveness of those platforms, it has been nice to get away from it.   

Books have also helped me gain a little bit of my confidence back. Characters in books don’t have faces. This gives me a break from watching movies with unrealistic models as the leads. When I watch movies or television, I constantly find myself picking out every little flaw in the actresses to make myself feel better for not being as pretty as them. When reading books there is no direct image of what the characters look like, and it is all up to my imagination.  

Books have given me what feels like freedom. For a few hours a day they give me an escape from reality and let me live in these imaginary worlds where anything is possible. They allow me to get away from all my responsibilities and take a second to breathe. They give me hope that someday my life will look like theirs– happy, lively and exhilarating.