Opening a New Chapter

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Opening a New Chapter

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As a kid in elementary school, one of the best days to look forward to was library day. Whether you were getting a special lesson in the library, going to meet an author, having a book fair or simply going to checkout a new book, the day was always special.

I have distinct memories of faking sickness and pain in mornings before school would start in attempts to get my mom to let me stay home. I remember these so clearly, because I would try this almost every day, except on days I knew I’d be going to the library.

While of course it is nice to get out of class, I think the reason we liked going to the library so much when we were younger is quite simple: we used to love reading. That’s not to say that no one our age still likes reading or that as soon as all of us left elementary we suddenly lost all interest in reading, just that we don’t like it as much as we used to.

I still read books on occasion, never stopped since then, and I’m sure some of you are still the same. That being said, a definite majority of students in high school read neither for pleasure nor for assignments. Those like me that do still read don’t do so at near the same intensity as we did as children.

A few weeks ago I started a new fantasy novel called “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a pretty basic western fantasy book; knight-like warriors battling beasts, magic and mystery shrouding the world as you and the protagonist discover more about your surroundings on a shared quest through treachery and despair. I’ve read many books like it before, and I’m bound to read many like it after. However, this book stuck out to me.

Reading about the protagonist’s exploits, hearing other characters tell stories of his great deeds and righteous power overall, was captivating. I had not been drawn into a book and character so quickly in ages. This forced me to ponder the question: why is it that I hadn’t been enjoying reading as much as I once had?

I came upon two reasons, each of which I feel most students can relate to. First, I don’t read as much, because I don’t have the time. Second, I haven’t found a book that interested me in ages.

Not having time to read is both the strongest and weakest argument. We all are overloaded with school, clubs, work, sports, family, and whatever else you’re having to juggle on a day to day basis. It is a lot, and trying to find time to fit in reading seems impossible. Going to practice, changing at home, going to work, coming back home, eating, squeezing in some homework and family time and boom; the day is over.

I sat there thinking, wondering how I could move my schedule around to try to get more book time in, and it was while I was mulling over this that my Netflix autoplay stopped and asked me if I was still watching.

“Huh,” I said to myself. “Maybe my schedule can fit in book time.”

It hit me in that instant that I had more free time than I realized, and I was using it mostly binging shows instead of reading.

That left the second reason unresolved: I haven’t and can’t find a book I like. Well, that problem was directly tied to the first; I haven’t found a book I like, because I hadn’t been reading. How would I find anything I like if I didn’t try around first?

Lo and behold, I asked for some recommendations and have already found the next four books I plan on reading. I had never heard of these titles before, but upon looking them up and skimming a blurb or two, I decided these are the ones I want to check out.

Books have been a huge part of my life and that should never stop. While I slacked on my reading for some time, books never ceased being the volumes of adventure that they always had been. Books contain some of the most fascinating stories and interesting facts out there; all they need is for someone to actually open them up and start reading, one page at a time.

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