Aatina K. Shaikh

Summer’s here, so it’s time to create a summer reading list. Reading needs to become a part of our daily lives if we want to develop ourselves intellectually. And yes, I know some of y’all don’t appreciate reading. Movies seem like a better option than a book for many of our peers, but you’re wrong. That’s a personal fact, not an opinion and I refuse to hear otherwise. Reading can be more than something your English classes are assigning to you. It can be more than something that brings you boredom. There are so many benefits to reading and the best part about books? You’re escaping into your own world and there’s nothing you have to worry about once you’ve completely immersed yourself.

While reading may not be everyone’s favorite thing to do, I promise there are so many reasons why you should incorporate it into your daily routine. Let’s start with the obvious.

The more you read, the more your vocabulary increases thereby your writing and speaking skills become stronger. If you’re constantly reading, you’re able to complete those writing assignments easier and if you have any public speaking opportunities in your life, you will sound so much more professional when you have impressive vocabulary. This hobby allows us to develop imagery skills beyond where we might be currently, not including graphic novels. When was the last time someone tried to get you to picture something and your brain went blank? Reading can improve those imagery skills and bloom more creative beings into society. My favorite part about reading is how it’s able to calm me down after a long day. It’s an easy way to wind down my day as I get ready for bed while also doing something for myself. 

There are so many ways for you to get curled up with a book. With physical books, there are paperback or hardcovers (yes, there is a difference). If you’re not into physical books, try an e-book. Nowadays, there are many free PDF’s out there and chances are, your library has e-books available online. If you have a Kindle, maybe try reading there. If you feel like you can’t do reading at all, try Audible for audiobooks. They’re basically like podcasts, so if you happen to be into that, audiobooks may be for you. For those of you who really want to get into the book aesthetic, get yourself a coffee or tea, preferably in a cute little coffee shop, or burn a candle as you read (I recommend the ones that crackle). You could also do both, sipping away at a hot beverage while a candle burns beside you on your favorite couch, in bed, or wherever you’re most comfortable. 

Writing can be difficult and it’s much worse when you have to write for a grade. Aside from your actual English courses, many of your other classes will incorporate writing into the curriculum. Reading can help with your class scores as you’re constantly being exposed to new voices and styles. These voices allow you to mold your own personal voice as you borrow what resonates with you, and make it personal to you. Aside from this, you can also sound more knowledgeable when your teachers bring up a random book in class that you’ve read or happens to be on your “to be read” (TBR) list. 

For anyone who doesn’t like reading, you just haven’t found your book. There’s always that one book that draws people into enjoying books. You just need to find yours. Struggling with reading is not an excuse! I recommend scheduling 10-15 minutes into the beginning or the end of your day. Scheduling this in will make it so much easier while also not taking up much of your time. If you’re struggling with finding one, search online for reading lists in genres you’re interested in. Hop onto BookTok, or shoot me a DM and I’ll send some of my favorites or even give you a prompt to write to if that interests you! Happy reading!


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