August 5, 2020
We've all been there– making ourselves promises of getting to that new novel or story before the end of the week. When the end of the week arrives, the result is usually different: we tend to write off reading as tedious and time-consuming, an activity with no payoff.
The truth is, reading is a fundamental principle in our day to day lives. Each day, we read signs, posts, blogs–but what about a book or a novel has shied us away from indulging in a good classic?
There is no right or wrong answer, but I wanted to find out for myself. After a year of consistent stress and deadlines, I needed to do something I wanted to do: reading a book a week. It's an intimidating task, but one with massive value. Although only 3 weeks into my journey, reading has changed the way I go about myself. Here are some of the more noticeable changes that reading offers:
A good story will draw you into the fragility of its characters and the intricacy of its plot. Immersing yourself completely into another world and time and returning back to reality after finishing a chapter is an experience like no other. It will change your perception of the world and create an admiration for its complexity.
You will begin to notice the tiny things that make us so unique. In a story, a character's foot tap can be symbolic of anxiety, impatience, or eagerness. You begin to notice the symbolism of simple actions and their beauty, and how an author can use that to their advantage in a story. It's the ability to alter the reader's outlook on the world that makes the written word so powerful and unparalleled.
No, really– as you read, you naturally draw conclusions and absorb vocabulary from the text. Taking the words you read on the page and using it in daily conversation adds a layer of personality to the author's words. (Not to mention, you can flaunt all the big words you know and impress your friends, if that's your thing.)
Learning and using new words is an activity that drifts away as we enter high school, but revisiting such a strategy is beneficial. Using new words in essays for research classes can better articulate your ideas and emotions, allowing for a more developed argument.
By committing to reading daily and weekly, your time management skills translate into other areas of your life. By breaking down your goal into smaller chunks, let's say setting a page goal per day, you can pace yourself to meet your goal in a more prompt manner. This strategy will only benefit you in completing assignments, finishing work-related projects, and more.
Sticking to a routine of reading and analyzing the world of a text can stretch and exercise your brain. This is a good thing– your belief in the world the author has created, in turn, allows you to create worlds of your own. This relates to the age-old quote: Great writers are also great readers. Such is for good reason.
Reading a book a week is a commitment that requires a lot of dedication and perseverance. Compared to the benefits, the work does have a payoff: you look at the world through a new lens, boost your vocabulary, and become a more creative person. What isn't to love?
I encourage you all to find a book you enjoy and develop a relationship with it. Try reading a book a week for yourself. If you're having trouble getting started, here are some of my all-time favorites that you may enjoy as well. Happy reading!
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