I never really liked reading when I was younger — I didn’t hate it but I definitely did not enjoy it either: I thought it was quite boring actually as I had never really seen the real point to it. In primary school, we used to have weekly library sessions where we would essentially just browse for books and read. At the time, I would just pick up a random picture-story book and aimlessly start to read. When the session ended, I would put the book away and never look at it again — I never took it seriously. It wasn’t until Grade Three that I found myself looking forward to one of these sessions.
It all changed when I found a book that I actually enjoyed, which for me at the time was Diary of The Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney— an exceedingly popular series amongst the youth of 2014 at my school and likely others as well. What I enjoyed about this book was the way it was written; it didn’t waffle about the colour of the leaves on in Autumn but rather it was like I was watching someone’s life unfold. Perhaps I enjoyed it even more because I could actually relate to it on a personal basis. I still remember the thrill of waiting for the library doors to open so I could be the first to get the next book in the series (albeit only committing a serious offence and running in the library which we would often get scolded for, in which case we would have to awkwardly speed-walk).
My interest only grew from there. Upon finishing the series (which never really happen as a new book came out every year, with the last instalment coming out in May this year) I went on to indulge in similar graphic novels for about two years. Towards the end of Year Five, I finally decided to move away from these books and for the first time in a while, I had no idea what to read. My mind was blank. I picked up books and after reading the first chapter or so I’d put them back and never look at it again. I had definitely lost a lot of my interest in reading until one of my friends suggested I should read the Once series by Morris Gleitzmen. This was actually one of the books which I had tried reading and put back in the shelves after finding it uninteresting and bland, but having nothing else to read I decided to give it another shot. I’m glad I did because I found the second half of the book to be wondrous and so I read this series for the next 5 months, regaining that zeal I had earlier for books.
Currently, I am reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which checks off the book with more than 500 pages. After finishing this book I plan to read the final book of the Red Queen Series, which I took a break from by reading All The Light We Cannot See, which also ticks off the book with more than 500 pages as well as book by a female author and a fantasy novel, though I have not yet decided which one to tick off with this particular book.
In my opinion, reading is crucial in our lives and we should take advantage of the numerous benefits that come with it. It evidently can help one in their own writing but I also believe that it helps with your time management skills. Finding the time to be able to read is not only important to do, but it is also a life skill to have. Instead of putting off reading with the excuse that you do not have the time, we should aim to make time and learn to juggle things around. As mentioned in one of the articles, instead of scrolling through your phone on your train ride, you could read for twenty minutes. I think that by simply cutting away some your phone usage, you could find yourself with an abundance of more time to not only read but to do other tasks as well.
Books are our escape from reality. Having a bad day? Read a book. Feeling overwhelmed? Read a book. Bored? Read a book. The power of books is often underestimated. Books are the mirrors of our school. They are not words on a page, but rather portals to the depths of your mind.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” — George R.R. Martin
If I were marooned on a deserted island and could only bring books/series with me, the ones I would bring along would be:
- The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard
4 great books with an alluring storyline. By far my favourite fantasy novel(s) of all time.
2. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
An astounding historical fiction novel; moving, bittersweet and one of my favourites (Clearly, I have a lot).
3. Once Series by Morris Gleitzman
One of my favourite series of all time with an amazing last book yet to come.
4. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Although I haven’t finished the book, I’ve read enough to know the story is enthrallingly told. It is certainly one of the best historical fiction novels out there.
5. Any Geronimo Stilton Novel (Give it a chance!)
Now I know what you’re thinking with this one: “that’s for children”. Yes, it is indeed, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a whimsical and most definitely an entertaining read. I don’t know about you but if I were alone, stuck on an island, with the thought of inexorable death looming over my head, I would want something to put a smile on a face and give me memories of my childhood.
6. Trash by Andy Mulligan
A powerful novel about three boys living on a dumpsite in the Philippines, with dreams bigger than the mountains of rubbish.
Fun fact: Andy Mulligan wrote the novel in 10 days straight upon returning from his time teaching in the Philippines.
7. Animal Farm by George Orwell
A short but thought-provoking novella about animals on a farm.