Bringing Back Books for Fun


Gwyn Alexander, Student Life Editor

Reading has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. With two parents who are involved with education and national literacy, my house is filled top to bottom with any book you could possibly imagine.

From lower to middle school, my parents’ voracious appetite for books rubbed off on me and I often stayed up late, was distracted from school work and even the lessons in class because I always had my nose buried in a book.

Now as a high school student, the luxury of having free time to spend doing something like reading may feel like a distant memory partially because of lack of time, and also because school demands that we do so much reading, annotating, and analyzing of text that reading for fun can start to feel like a chore.

Reading has many benefits; everything from relieving stress, helping us fall asleep, improving test scores, memory growth, parental approval, social benefits, and more can be gained from 15 minutes with a book.

In a study performed by Sussex University researchers, it was proven that reading for pleasure can reduce stress levels by up to 86%, improving both emotional and physical health.

While staring at blue-light emitting screens at night prevents the production of melatonin, a hormone necessary for sleep, reading before bed can both de-stress and aid in the normal production of melatonin allowing for a more restful night’s slumber.

The list of benefits only continues; in a 2015 Ohio University study, researchers found that reading comprehension can improve test scores on standardized math tests, such as the ACT, by up to 14.8%, and reading novels can also boost your vocabulary.

There are many ways to sneak in a few minutes of reading within your busy day. Morgan Fleming ‘20 recommends taking 15 minutes before bed to wind down with a good book. Even reading books on your phone is an option if you have some time before your ride arrives or you need a quick break from homework.