Appreciation for reading does not come from school

Hallie Chen, Editor In Chief

From the second a kid enters school, they are forced into an environment where reading is considered one of, if not the most, important skills they will ever learn. Whether it be through independent reading logs in elementary school or annotating at least three lines a page in high school, there seems to be no option besides consuming as many words as you can, in as little time as possible. But this is exactly what takes the value out of reading for a lot of people—not to mention the fun.

While books allow for authors from all different time periods, places, and backgrounds to express their beliefs, forcing all students to study the exact same works defeats the point of reading them. In the case of English classes, it is impossible for the typical classics containing dystopian worlds or flaunting Shakespearean sonnets to be appealing to all students. Besides reading for a grade, then, kids don’t see the value in reading, because they have never had the opportunity to actually enjoy it.

Just as authors are free to express their own ideas however they wish in their works, readers should be allowed to read whichever way works for them. Whether it be through heavy annotations or the briefest of skimming, as long as people understand the importance of reading, they have benefitted from it.

The way reading is forced upon students in school prevents them from actually enjoying the process; instead of kids learning how to learn through reading and then growing from this experience, they are expected to just do it. With almost 130 million published books worldwide, people who treat reading as a chore just haven’t found the right book yet, but schools leave no room for this journey when they require everyone to read the same books.