Books range vastly from epic adventures of fantasy to the astounding research of scientific mysteries. There are many students who partake in reading books of their choosing. However, the activity is often an afterthought in a student’s daily life. Some may find that they can’t make time for a choice book or there’s little point in spending time on one. However, there lies very good reasons to read a choice book every once and while. Time should be made for choice books, as they allow readers to expand into new horizons of understanding and experience.
A book is not something that has to be assigned. It can be a student’s own choice of exploration. English teacher Brent Chambers believes that students at times need to be reminded that.
“I think students sometimes get frustrated that every single [book] they read in their school experience will be chosen for them,” Chambers said. “It’s important for kids to see there is this whole world out there, both in libraries and if they are interested in purchasing through Amazon.”
There are benefits to reading for pleasure. One is that it allows students to explore different ideas and concepts they want to learn. It can become a very in depth experience for a reader, and lead to a better understanding of a subject. Freshman Annie Kidder strives to do this by sometimes reading books that aren’t her typical choice of genre.
“If I want to learn about a different culture or delve deeper into a certain mentality, I’d read a book I normally wouldn’t go for,” Kidder said.
Settling down with a book every once in awhile is a good way to just disconnect from the outside world and relax. To take the time to just read written words is a chance for a reader to analyze a viewpoint and form their own thoughts. The experience can be very fulfilling.
“I think today, now more than ever, finding time in your day to peacefully interact with [a] single person’s words and ideas on the printed page is crucial,” Chambers said. “We all need to tune out the noise whether it be a phone stuffed in our face or the nastiness of the political primary process. A book is a one on one relationship with you, the author, and how you interpret his or her words.”
When it comes to the types of stories available, books offer expansive genres. While there are basic genres such as romance, historical, and comedic, the world of literature can very well branch off into much more specific and complex genres. Senior Dan Burns reads a unique genre known as hypertext fiction.
“Basically it’s where you have to work for what’s actually going on in the story,” Burns said. “The text isn’t telling you everything. You have to figure it out for yourself. For example, the book I’m reading right now, “House of Leaves“, has codes written in the book that you have to decode yourself.”
When it comes to making choices, a student is not obligated to finish the book at a certain time. They can even stop at any point they start losing interest.
“Since [the book] is not being forced on you, you can read it at your own pace,” Burns said. “I like that because with these school books we have to read, I’m not always invested.”
Choice books are a chance to find what interests a student and allows them to form their own meanings with the author’s words. Like a movie or music, there are multiple avenues that can peak someone’s interest. It’s a pleasure that can stimulate the mind and provides an escape from disorder.
By: Rachel Dembowski