I used to be a major bookworm. I absolutely loved to read…and then I entered Year 10. All of a sudden, I had long novels that I had to read for English and I no longer felt I had the time or desire to read anything else. To be honest, my later years of high school also coincided with the growing popularity of Netflix…which may or may not have played a humongous role in my lack of reading.
It’s only recently that I have started reading for enjoyment again and it didn’t take long at all for me to realise what I had been missing. Reading is really fun and there are so many reasons to choose a book over yet ANOTHER episode of ‘The Office’ (just me?!).
Reading for fun is, to begin with, fun. There are whole worlds out there for us to enjoy! More importantly, when you read for fun you get to choose the book. One of the reasons why I lost my love for reading was because the only books that I was reading had been set for me by my teachers. To be fair, I did enjoy some of these texts, but having the freedom to read exactly what I wanted was a huge plus. Sci-fi, crime, fantasy, drama, historical fiction, thriller…the choice is totally yours! Do yourself a favour, find a book that YOU want to read and enjoy!
I understand that the binge-watching culture that has taken over our lives does make it difficult to choose reading a book over watching a full season of the latest TV show. While it may not seem like it, if you choose to pick up a book, you will feel way more relaxed. Give your poor eyes a rest from the harsh lights glowing from your electronic screens! I think many of us can admit to spending too much time looking at our phones or laptops, so giving yourself a break from that will feel like a mini vacation.
Finally, a sneaky little tip. Reading for fun can technically be classified as study. TECHNICALLY. The more you read, the better your own writing will become. You don’t need to be studying the book to learn from it. Little things, like your sentence structure, vocabulary and grammar can all improve the more you read. So, if you feel like taking a break from studying, read a book for fun and then tell anyone who interrupts you, “Excuse me, I’m studying here?!“. Voilà! Sneaky study break! You’re welcome.
Here are a few of Sponge’s favourite book recommendations to get you started:
- ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ series by Douglas Adams – Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
- ‘To Kill a Mockingbird‘ by Harper Lee – In a small-town in a southern American state, a black man is falsely accused and put on trial for raping a young white woman.
- ‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K. Rowling – An 11-year-old boy finds out he is a wizard whose parents were killed by the villainous Lord Voldemort. The series follows his life at the wizarding school Hogwarts and his fights against evil.
- ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time‘ by Mark Haddon – An autistic boy is blamed for the cruel murder of his neighbour’s dog. Determined to prove his innocence, he sets out to prove his innocence and solve the mystery.
- ‘The Martian‘ by Andy Wier – An astronaut is stranded on Mars. He is stuck with limited resources and communication, and has to survive until he can be rescued.
- ‘Franny and Zooey‘ by J.D. Salinger – Franny and Zooey live in 1950’s America. Franny suffers an existential crisis due to her growing disillusionment, and Zooey attempts to comfort her.
- ‘High Fidelity‘ by Nick Hornby – A man visits all of his ex-girlfriends and reflects on his past mistakes.
- ‘The Hunger Games‘ series by Suzanna Collins – Katniss lives in poverty with her mother and sister in district twelve. When her younger sister is called to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal fight to the death against 23 other children, she volunteers to save her life.
- ‘Little Women‘ by Louisa May Alcott – Jo and her three sisters live in poverty in Massachusetts. The three girls grapple with growing up, and issues of family, loss, and femininity.
- ‘Lord of the Flies‘ by William Golding – A group of boys are abandoned on an Island when their ship crashes. The boys try to create their own society that quickly becomes primitive and barbaric.