Losing time to read for fun

Lexi Bowers

reading for funI would stay up for hours, sometimes well into the early hours of the next morning, engrossed in a book. Now that I am in high school, I find myself in a similar position: neck craned over a book, eyes scanning every line.

However, this time, I am not reading quickly and staying up late because I can’t wait to see what happens next. Instead I am staying up late because I have a reading quiz the next day.

With so much homework from other subjects, there is not as much time to enjoy reading for English or for pleasure.

I do not mean to say that the books we are assigned to read for English are not good books. They are all excellent pieces of literature, and that is why they have been chosen for us to read. I also like reading the same books as my classmates and analyzing and having in-depth conversations about them.

However, with the pressure of studying for a quiz on a book in English, or needing to read quickly so I will have enough time to study for another subject, I find myself unable to give them the attention that these novels deserve.

I am not alone in my longing for more time to read for pleasure.

Many of my friends have told me that they, too, miss having more time to read books outside of school. Some of them say that after reading for both history and English, they are no longer in the mood to read even if they do have some free time after their homework. Personally, if I read a book for fun instead of reading for English, I feel slightly guilty.

According to a recent 2014 Scholastic survey of over 1,000 children and teens aged 6 to 17, adolescents are reading much less than they did in previous years. Only 31 percent of the kids said they read a book for fun daily. Many credit this decrease in reading outside of the classroom to the prominence of social media among young people.

I think a lot of kids, myself included, sometimes choose to binge watch their favorite show on Netflix when they have free time, rather than pulling out their favorite book.

Instead of carrying around my favorite book, I bring my iPhone everywhere I go.

Despite the temptation to watch an entire season of “House of Cards” or scroll through Facebook and Instagram, once you find the right book, it is hard to put it down.

As I write this, I am staring at the shelves upon shelves of books that I hope to, but have yet to read due to a lack of free time.

I hope I, as well as any other students who share a similar lack of time for reading for pleasure, will find a way to fit in the reading that once piqued our interest and excited our imaginations.