A child browses for e-books on the Epic reading app. Younger children tend to read for fun much more than middle and high school students. (Photo by Karen Phan)
Fountain Valley High School

Opinion: Let’s revive reading for pleasure

Remember the days in fifth grade where you could finish a book in one sitting? Or remember in third grade when you could dive into a fantasy world of your choosing? As high schoolers, many of us have lost that love for reading we once had. It’s time to revive our love for reading.

As we grew up, we started to drop the books and pick up devices instead, quickly becoming addicted to social media apps and losing interest in the hobbies we used to love. Along with that, we focused on school and our extracurriculars with suddenly no time to crack open a book and read like we used to.

This phenomenon isn’t a rare occurrence — nationwide, less than 20% of teens read for pleasure while 80% use social media as a daily habit, according to the American Psychological Association in 2018.

Teens are increasingly choosing social media over reading and screen time has replaced a time we once filled with books. An over-reliance on social media can lead to addiction, thus impacting our mental health and social skills.

On the contrary, reading has an abundance of benefits like helping with communication skills, expanding vocabulary and comprehension, improving your writing, preventing cognitive decline as you age, reducing stress and more.

Reading is simply more fulfilling than spending hours scrolling through a handful of apps on your phone. You have the opportunity to explore other worlds, learn about different cultures and the past, empathize with characters and make connections to your own life. All at your fingertips, reading gives you opportunities to learn and improve your skills.

If you miss the love you once had for reading, there’s a simple solution: put your phone down and pick up a book.

Reading books is a way to enjoy your free time because it can free your mind from the often stressful task of staring at screens in a relaxing way. (Photo by Natalie Ayvazian)

Use audiobooks or e-books to transition into reading. Start choosing short books that are easy to fit into your schedule. Take some time to read a book’s plot so you find a book you’re truly interested in. Take advantage of local libraries’ resources. Fountain Valley High School students can take advantage of the school library’s pickup system for books to check out.

Reading used to be a creative and joyful outlet for students to spend our time. If we just choose to take a break from social media, we can revive our love for reading, one book at a time.