Why You Should Start Reading

Monday, March 9, 2015
Boat

Paur, J. (2012). Awesome HARRY POTTER Book Sculpture and More!. GeekTyrant. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://geektyrant.com/news/2012/12/14/awesome-harry-potter-book-sculpture-and-more.html

 

Why should you read books? The modern world is filled with so many other means of absorbing information, whether this be social media (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.), the latest TV show added to Netflix, or the newest video game out on Steam. So what’s the point of reading, is it worth the effort and the time you have to put into it?

As I will explain in this blog, yes, reading is worth it, and there are many reasons why. The reason why I’m making a blog post about this, is the fact that I’ve seen the number of peers reading steadily decreasing, and I think this true throughout the world. The Pew Research Center reported last year that 23% of American adults, nearly a quarter, had not read a single book in the previous 12 months [1]. This number is triple that of the percentage of adults that didn’t read a single book in 1978. The trend of decreasing book reading doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

But this post isn’t about other people. It’s about you, and why you should start reading, or read more than you are right now.

Increases Vocabulary Size

If you read books, you will most likely encounter unknown words, that perhaps your friends do not use in casual and formal talk. When you do encounter these words, looking up their definition adds a new word to your lexicon. Studies have shown that, not only does a greater vocabulary indicate your intelligence, it also increases your average income. [2]

If you happen to read on most e-books, looking up definitions is as easy as tapping the word that you don’t know as shown in the video below:

It’s difficult to appear smart if your vocabulary is lackluster, which can be easily fixed by reading books to fuel your vocabulary!

Enhances Writing Skills

People write to share their knowledge with the reader. Some do so better than others, which is why reading books made by good writers can teach you many things and make you a better writer. [3] Authors like J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Hobbit) have nearly perfected descriptive writing, while writers like Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code, Inferno) are masters of suspense.

Writing is an essential job skill, and something that you will be doing in almost any career you decide to go into. Like your vocabulary capacity, being a good writer really helps people believe that you are an educated person. The ability to read books to make you a better writer makes it another good reason to be something to incorporate into your life.

Stress Reliever

After a hard day at work or school, people are often tired or stressed out. A very good way to relax yourself is reading. Reading forces you to sit in a comfortable position, and stay in one place for a while. When you read a book, you go into a different world, or you hear a wise person’s words. Reading helps open your mind, and hear different opinions from different people and cultures (something that usually can’t be obtained from reading the news). Books can literally change your life or your perspective on how you view things. Here’s a short but interesting TED talk on how reading can open your mind:

Improves Memory and Analytic Skills

While reading, your brain is constantly working, trying to understand what is happening, or why somebody is saying something. You analyze information in front of you, and then you make predictions and connections. As Maryanne Wolf explains in Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, “Typically, when you read, you have more time to think. Reading gives you a unique pause button for comprehension and insight. By and large, with oral language—when you watch a film or listen to a tape—you don’t press pause.” [4] This improves both your analytic skills and memory, which are extremely useful skills to have.

Winter, L. (2014). Direct Brain-To-Brain Communication Used in Humans. Iflscience.com. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.iflscience.com/brain/direct-brain-brain-communication-used-humans

 

Inexpensive

One could argue that reading costs a lot of money, since the average book costs $10 to $20, and if you own hundreds of books, that adds up. But the average book contains 64,000 words [5], and the average reading speed being 200 words per minute [6], so simple math indicates that, in general, books give you around 5 hours of entertainment, and longer books such as “War and Peace” (which contains 544,406 words) can take nearly ten times longer. That’s gives you good value for your money, but if that’s not enough, there’s many ways to get books for cheaper.

Firstly, going to the library! Nearly all people have a library near them, and libraries usually contain any book that you could possibly want to read, so going to one to grab yourself something to read for free is a great idea. But what if you want to keep the books for further reading, without the inconvenience of going to the library? E-books, especially classics, are free or really, really cheap. You can go grab an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (the e-book I currently read with) for only $119! [7] Amazon has also recently introduced Kindle Unlimited. For $9.99 a month, you have unlimited access to a library of over 700,000 books, and you don’t even have to have a Kindle for it! [8]

Another fantastic resource for free, legally acquired, books is Project Gutenberg. Although the majority of novels on that website are written 50 or more years ago, there is still a  choice of over 46,000 ebooks. The books are available in different formats and with pictures or without. They also get installed very quickly, so if you have an electronic device such as a laptop, kindle or tablet, you can choose the appropriate format to download and within seconds you’ll be reading a high quality book.

Amazon.com,. (2015). Learn More about Kindle Unlimited. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002872331

 

It’s fun

I think that the main reason why people stop or don’t begin reading is that they associate it with boredom. If you didn’t read a book in a long time, you might think of reading as slowly flipping through endless pages of words, which doesn’t seem quite as appealing as the flashy scenes in movies and video games. This is perfectly understandable, as this has caused me to stop reading for some time before. But whenever I come back, I realize how entertaining it is. Whether I’m reading a book by Jules Verne, such as Mysterious Island or Around the World in 80 Days, or re-reading The Hobbit or Harry Potter, I am plunged into a wonderful world, whether it be made up or real. I become the protagonist, and I share his emotions and feelings. I become part of a captivating adventure, experiencing all the twists and turns in a good book. It’s truly a wonderful experience, and some authors write with such talent, that I have difficulty putting down their books.

There are also so many books, that there is one to appeal to virtually everyone. Whether you like books filled with adventure, fantasy, history, facts, romance, advice for life, suspense, poetry, religion, horror, action, science fiction or mystery, there’s one for you.

Which brings me to my next point. I think it is important that you read a book that’s good. Although there are a myriad of excellent titles, there also many bad books by talent-less authors. Books like that can ruin your opinion of reading, and make you give up on it. So here’s a list of the top “top 100 book” lists. All top books lists are written with some sort of bias, so having a bunch of these lists you can see recurring titles. And don’t just limit your self to one book- if you’ve read a great novel by an author, consider reading more of his or her works.

Commons.wikimedia.org,. (2015). File:PediaPress Book Reading 1.jpg – Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PediaPress_Book_Reading_1.jpg

 

In conclusion, reading books is not only interesting and captivating, it also has some great benefits to your mind and it’s an inexpensive hobby. So put the gadgets away for a bit, do some research, find a book that interests you, and do yourself a favor by reading it.

My recommendations for great books to start with

FantasyHobbit, this book is the first written by J.R.R. Tolkien, and is essentially a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The reason why I’m recommending it over LOTR is the fact that the latter is very complex and drawn out, and might not appeal to everyone, while the Hobbit is much more light-hearted and a simple read (simpler, but not dumbed down). I’ve read it at least three times, and everytime I do so, it makes me very happy. Although I prefer LOTR for its grander scale, it’s better to read the Hobbit first because it is appealing to a wider range of people, and if you really like it, than you can move on to the sequels for a more “epic” experience.

Science FictionDeathworld, this novel is about Jason dinAlt, a professional gambler that ends up in a journey to the universe’s most dangerous planet. This book is not so well-known, but is a great starter to sci-fi, as it is written without using complex words and still manages to be entertaining. Another great sci-fi book is the classic War of the Worlds.

MysterySherlock Holmes, this collection of 56 short stories and 4 books by Conan Doyle includes some of the most interesting and thought-provoking works I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I would start with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and go from there. They’re very intelligent and fun, and a great book to start with.

AdventureThe Mysterious Island, this is one of the many masterpieces by Jules Verne. I actually only finished reading it a couple weeks ago. It’s a book about five castaways on a deserted (or maybe not?) island that have to adapt to the environment, and as the book progress, they start to create their own civilized colony. I found the premise and plot twists captivating.

ThrillerThe Da Vinci Code. I found this book a mix between mystery, suspense and thriller. I probably read this book quicker than any other book in my life. This book is very difficult to put down, and I found myself flipping through pages, wondering what was going to happen next. So many twists and turns made the book exciting to read.

HumorThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I almost forgot about this one! This is a really funny take on science fiction, and had me laughing out loud at several points while reading. It is definitely worth a read, and there was a half decent movie made out of it too.

Questions

  • So what is your opinion on reading- should it be something that people do more often?
  • Do you believe that reading should see an increase as part of the school curriculum, and if so, why?
  • If you’re a teacher, how do you assess the reading of your students (especially high-school where there is no DRA-like testing)?
  • Do you have book recommendations? Any comments below would be appreciated. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Think before you speak. Read before you think. -Frank Lebowitz

Articles for further reading:

 

[1] Weissmann, J. (2014). The Decline of the American Book Lover. The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/the-decline-of-the-american-book-lover/283222/

[2] Hirsch, E. (2013). A Wealth of Words by E. D. Hirsch, Jr., City Journal Winter 2013. City-journal.org. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_1_vocabulary.html

[3] More Reading Leads to Better Writing. (2015) (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/wac/newsletters/N4a.pdf

[4] Habash, G. (2015). Guess How Many Words Are In The Average Novel. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/book-length_n_1334636.html

[5] Wolf, M., & Stoodley, C. (2007). Proust and the squid. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

[6] Readingsoft.com,. (2015). Speed Reading Test Online. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.readingsoft.com/

[7] Amazon.com,. (2015). Kindle Paperwhite – Released 2012 – Fact Sheet. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Paperwhite-Touch-light/dp/B007OZNZG0

[8] Amazon.com,. (2015). Learn More about Kindle Unlimited. Retrieved 8 March 2015, from http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002872331

55 Comments

  1. Alex, this is a wonderfully persuasive piece of writing that flows so well for a number of reasons.

    1. Clear thesis supported with succinct headings and subsequent examples

    2. Relevant and intriguing graphics. Oh how I love the merging of text and images.

    3. Clean style with a variety of sentence structures and cogent ideas

    4. Conversational tone with an academic flair

    5. Well constructed works cited … Invites the reader to explore your thinking

    6. Interesting e-links to other ideas , particularly the ‘best-of’ reading lists. I discovered I have read 26 titles on the World Lit list.

    Wonderings…
    Do you know how to open links in a new window? if so, try that as a navigation tool so readers don’t lose their spot in your blog posting when they venture out on a link trail.
    Have you read ‘The Poisonwood Bible’? It’s one of my suggested offerings for you.

    Finally, I need some advice from teens. If you can find my plog (personal learning log) you’ll see why I need some insight from teens. I think I mesed up something and I’m not sure what to do next. https://falconplog.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/I-wish-i-hadn't-reacted-so-quickly/

    P.s. I read both paper and e-books

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thank you for the feedback! I really appreciate it. I fixed the links, and they should now open in a new window.
      I’ll have a look at “The Poisonwood Bible”, it seems like an interesting book that I would love to read. I’ll also have a look at your blog post and I’ll comment as soon as possible.
      It’s interesting that you put at the end there that you read both paper and e-books. As I said in the article, I have an Amazon Kindle that I read books on. Although I really like the idea of being able to carry around thousands of books on one device, I still feel as though reading is more fun with an actual physical copy of the book. It might be because I read e-books more slowly, or that I feel as though having all the books appear as word documents that I scroll through in a sense (just black letters on a white background) isn’t as appealing as having every book have a different look to it, giving them more character. So, as you read both paper and e-books, what do you prefer and why?

  2. Profile photo of jpetrell3936 jpetrell3936 says:

    This is a good article, I love the topic, mostly because I completely agree that writing is a HUGE part of being a good, creative writer! I didn’t know a lot of the statistics that you added to the article and I love the formatiing of your article! However, I did find a few parts in the article that were hard to read. This is a simple fix, just change around some of the words. Some of your phrasing was ‘strange.’ I see the same thing in my own work and it can be hard to spot on your own. Here is an example:

    It’s really difficult to appear to be smart if you don’t know that many words, and when there is an opportunity to easily do it, it should taken.

    Here is how I would fix this:

    It’s difficult to appear smart if your vocabulary is lackluster, reading books can fuel your vocabulary and thus your writing!

    If you do a quick read though making sure your sentences cant be phrased better, this article would be perfect! Great job!

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks for commenting, and thanks for letting me know that I should fix some of my phrasing. I’ll have a look at the blog post later and I’ll improve the wording. 🙂

  3. Profile photo of jwilson1260 jwilson1260 says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post, certainly makes me want to(consider) reading! Mrs W from Orchard Park SS pretty much summed it up!

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks Jeremy! I saw you reading a book a week or so back, I don’t quite recall what it entailed, but I believe it had something to do with Natives. Have you finished that book, and if so, do you recommend it?

    2. Profile photo of jwilson1260 jwilson1260 says:

      Thanks for reminding me to reply. Anyways, the book I was reading a little while back was People of the Wolf by Kathleen O’Neil and Micheal Gear. It’s a fantastic fiction book about the first aboriginals to inhabit North America. There’s a whole series of it, I’m on book two titled “People of the Fire” and it’s just as good! If find it very cool that the authors also happen to be archaeologists that study aboriginals! I definitely recommend it!

      1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

        That sounds awesome, I’ll definitely have a look at it! I really like when authors write a book about something they know thoroughly, it makes something truly magical (for example, Ian Flemming’s James Bond).

  4. Profile photo of eivanski6650 eivanski6650 says:

    Wow, fantastic article. I love how clear and easy to follow it is. As well as how well it is formatted, it does a great job combining both facts and statistics, as well as personal opinion.

    I would encourage you to perhaps compare it to other mediums. How does reading compare to television, or video games. However, i understand that for the most part you are comparing reading to not reading, and involvement of other mediums may dilute the main arguments. overall, this article is very well written and covers all your bases very well.

    Superb 😀

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks for the feedback! My blog post is leaning more to persuasive/informative side, so providing a counter-argument, I feel, will weaken it. I’ll have a look at it though and see whether I can fit something in. 🙂

  5. Profile photo of asu8252 asu8252 says:

    What an awesome blog post, Alex! After reading your post, it motivated me to start reading more. As you said, reading can expand your vocab, help you write better and can even help improve your memory. Who doesn’t want to sound smart, right? I want to start reading but i don’t know what books I should start out with, could you suggest any titles?

    To answer your questions,
    1) I’ve never given thought about reading recreational and I rarely pick up any books, but after reading your post I am convinced that I probably should.

    2) I do believe that reading should see an increase in the school curriculum. Most students nowadays are having trouble communicating. Talking about books will increase the collaboration between students.

    Have you ever disliked reading at some point in your life? If so, how come?

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks for the detailed response! It’s fantastic if you’re considering to read. Depending on what genre of books you are interested in, there are plenty of starting points. Here’s a quick list of books I think are great:

      FantasyHobbit, this books is the first written by J.R.R. Tolkien, and is essentially a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The reason why I’m recommending it over LOTR, is the fact that, while the latter is very complex and drawn out, and might not appeal to everyone, while the Hobbit is much more light-hearted and a simple read (simpler, but not dumbed down). I’ve read it at least three times, and everytime I do so, it makes me very happy. Although I prefer LOTR, it’s better to read the Hobbit first because it is appealing to everyone, and if you really like it, than you can move on to the sequels.

      Science FictionDeathworld, this novel is about Jason dinAlt, a professional gambler that ends up in a journey to the universe’s most dangerous planet. This book is not so well-known, but is a great starter to sci-fi, as it is written without using complex words and it is still entertaining. Another great sci-fi book is the classic War of the Worlds.

      MysterySherlock Holmes, this collection of 56 short stories and 4 books by Conan Doyle are some of the most interesting and thought-provoking works I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I would start with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and go from there. They’re very intelligent and fun, and a great book to start with.

      AdventureThe Mysterious Island, this is one of the many masterpieces by Jules Verne. I actually only finished reading it a couple weeks ago. It’s a book about five castaways on a deserted (or maybe not?) island that have to adapt, and as the book progress, they start to create their own civilized colony. I found the premise and plot twists captivating.

      ThrillerThe Da Vinci Code. I found this book a mix between mystery, suspense and thriller. I probably read this book quicker than any other book in my life. This book is very difficult to put down, and I found myself flipping through pages, wondering what was going to happen next. So many twists and turns made the book exciting to read.

      HumorThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I almost forgot about this one! This is a really funny take on science fiction, and had me laughing out loud at several points while reading. Maybe you’ve heard as the number 42 being the answer to life, the universe, and everything from the internet or someone you known, and this is the book where it originated from. It is definitely worth a read, and there was a half decent movie made out of it too:

      Those are some good starting points, but I haven’t read enough books to give the best recommendations, so I’d recommend checking out top 100 book lists.
      And to answer your question, I’ve never really not liked reading books, but for the past couple of years I didn’t read too much. I’m trying to change that right now, which is what made me think of this blog topic.

      1. Profile photo of asu8252 asu8252 says:

        Thanks a lot for the recommendations! I will try to get a copy of Deathworld. I think that suits me. If not I’ll get a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy since I like humorous things.

  6. Profile photo of kbryant7537 kbryant7537 says:

    Good job, Alex. I like the way the piece was worded, and how everything was thoroughly explained. You seemed very invested in your topic, making your argument very convincing to read. Very mature.

    Concerning your second question, I do believe that reading is an important method of learning that people to need to use, but I do not believe it needs to be enforced more than it is currently. Yes, reading has many benefits and is a great learning tool, but these benefits may be lost on many kids when learning because many people don’t like being forced to read. Reading recreationally and for your own benefits and on you own time can be very enjoyable, but if your are being forced to read for marks in a class and the material is not something you are interested in, it can make the experience dreadful. Just something to consider.
    Anyway, everything about the article itself was excellent.

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      That’s an interesting perspective, and I think it’s a good point. Being forced to read a specific book that, almost guaranteed, will not appeal to everyone in the classroom loses some of the “magic” of choosing any book you want and then reading it. Perhaps extracurricular reading could be encouraged by teachers, or a book club could be created? Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

      1. Profile photo of kbryant7537 kbryant7537 says:

        Extracurricular reading could be a great way of getting more kids to expand their minds by reading lots of different types of books regularly. I feel like the people who would join it would be ones who are already interested in reading, enough to spend extra time after school doing it, and not so much those who maybe need to read more. Good idea though.

  7. Profile photo of nhersi4167 nhersi4167 says:

    Awesome article Alex I myself feel a little guilty about not reading as much as I should lately. But I noticed when you replied to Adam’s comment the only genres you prefer read are Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, and Adventure. Have you ever wondered about reading different genres such as Humour, Mythology, Horror, and Classic books. Also like Elliot mention try to compare reading to other things besides not reading. Look forward to reading your next post

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Hi Najib, the reply I made to Adam wasn’t specifically about my favorite books in my favorite genres, it was just a list of books that first came to mind as good starts for reading. I really enjoy reading Mythology and Classic books (though not so much horror books, since they don’t really appeal to me), I just didn’t include them as genres in the reply. I do try to widen the scope of the material I read- for example I just finished reading Anthem by Ayn Rand, my first philosophical book. If I had to be critical of the material I read, I’d say that I don’t read many non-fiction novels, which often provide a deeper insight into the author’s opinion on the subject of writing. But I think as long as you’re reading books, even if you tend to lean towards some genres over others, you’re doing good for yourself. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  8. Profile photo of tarnold0281 tarnold0281 says:

    Interesting post, Alex. Lately I haven’t been reading as much as I should be, and I want to get into it again. I will take a look at some of the recommendations that you gave Adam as I have read The Hobbit and really enjoyed it.
    To answer your question about reading and the school curriculum, I strongly believe that more books would help with learning not only in english studies, but science, geography and other topics explored by great authors. One thing I would like to mention though is that if the work load and/or analysis in-class becomes too much, then the enjoyment of any book may be compromised, which I wouldn’t wan’t to see.

  9. Profile photo of bgriffit5407 bgriffit5407 says:

    Those are some great points on why reading is important! I definitely believe that reading should be something done more often seeing how it can help with so much. However, I do not know if it should be incorporated into school curriculum because I feel that the freedom people have in high school, would kind of make forcing them to read a challenge. The attitude most people have toward reading is not exactly positive, but I do think having the school advertise more reading could influence students to start reading on their own like having the library talk about what new and popular books they have. I personally think that reading can inspire creativity. I also know that reading can help keep your brain sharp therefore lowering chances of Alzheimer’s. Do you think that some people may avoid reading because they are slow readers and feel like they are not smart enough to comprehend the book? Or maybe some people with dyslexia get discouraged by reading since letters get mixed up for them, so they avoid it altogether?

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Yes, I feel as though the biggest reasons for people avoiding reading is either they don’t find the books they read interesting, or they’re having difficulty understanding them. That’s why I think starting with great books that are written in a relatively simple language, yet are still interesting, is a good idea. Check out my reply to Adam’s comment with a list of books I would recommend to people interested in getting into reading (although I’ll probably expand on it and add it to the blog post when I get the time). I can’t really answer the question about dyslexia- I’ve never known someone who had something like that. I’m actually genuinely interested in how dyslexic people read, and if, in general, they read less than the average person. There’s a lot of bright people with dyslexia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_diagnosed_with_dyslexia) and the challenges they had to overcome is something I’d like to know more about. Thanks for commenting!

      1. Profile photo of bgriffit5407 bgriffit5407 says:

        I think that introducing relatively simple books to beginners is a great idea. I mean, you don’t teach kindergarteners to read by handing them a novel, you start off with simple books and they build their way up.

        1. Profile photo of bgriffit5407 bgriffit5407 says:

          One more thing, when I clicked on the link, it took me off of your page and to the website instead, any way to change that? I recall Mr. Puley saying that you should open it in a new tab to prevent the reader from leaving your page entirly. I think it would be good to try and change it even if it is just in the comments and not actually part of your post.

          1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

            Fixed, thanks, I didn’t realize it didn’t do it automatically. 😛

  10. Profile photo of ahassan2607 ahassan2607 says:

    Great article Alex! It was very informative, and I definitely learned many new things! I found that the article was very easy to follow along because of the use of sub-headings.

    Reading is something that people should definitely try to do more often. For some, it can be a break from screen-time, as well as a relaxing experience. Reading allows for us to use our imagination, and paint visual images in our mind. We are also able to create predictions based on what we think might happen next. Reading allows for us to develop comprehension, speaking and creativity skills.

    I think that reading does not need to be integrated in the classroom more than it already is. For some people, being forced to read is not as enjoyable as reading by choice. I also feel that we should be given a variety of choices when reading books in class. Everyone is interested in various things, for some people, it becomes hard to concentrate on reading and finishing a book when it is something that they do not enjoy.

    Most importantly, people need to remember that they should not judge a book by its cover! You may find that something that doesn’t look enjoyable may be one of the best things you have ever read.

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      I agree with you on how, if you have to read a book for school, you should be given a choice. I really like doing book reports at school where you’re not assigned to one specific book. I think a great system would be to allow freedom of choice, but give a specified genre for students to follow, such as historical fiction, mystery, sci-fi, etc. And yes, you should never judge a book by its cover, usually the front is symbolic, and can only be appreciated fully after reading it. For example, this book cover doesn’t show that the pages are filled with one of the most epic and great adventures:

      Lord of the Rings Cover

      Thanks for commenting!

  11. Profile photo of ealtin6681 ealtin6681 says:

    Hey Alex, I definitely liked how you refuted most of the complaints that come from people who have problems with reading. However, you didn’t do it in a way that used negative language, which I give you kudos for!
    As for your questions,
    1. I definitely agree with you, I believe reading should be a part of everyone’s life,
    2. I think reading should increase in schools, but I think it should increase more in elementary schools rather than high schools. Personally if it were more encouraged in high school, I’d feel kind of pressured to read and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I would reading on my own. I think if elementary schools ran reading-oriented trips such as taking a tour of the central library, or meeting authors I think kids would connect with the idea of reading much more.
    3. I would suggest The Persepolis. It’s a graphic novel that tells the story of the author’s life in Revolutionary Iran. Very interesting for a history buff!

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Yeah, having reading as a major part of the elementary curriculum sounds like a fantastic idea. I don’t feel as though I really learned a lot of important things throughout elementary school, and all the time spent on stuff like aerodynamics, cell structure and rock composition, which I feel you understand much better in high school when you “review” it, could have been spent reading novels. Then, in high school, the majority of kids would still have an interest in reading in their spare time, they’d learn a lot and overall be better people, and they can go about through school with only a small and barely noticeable disadvantage (or none at all). I’ll definitely have a look at your recommendation, it sounds very interesting, and is something that would help me expand my knowledge of history. Thanks!

  12. Profile photo of mmaklad9954 mmaklad9954 says:

    I completely agree with your points except for one. I think reading is very important and, as I can see from your writing, you read. Your post, in my opinion, is very well written. Judging myself right now, my writing is very bad.
    The only point that I don’t agree with you on is that reading relieves stress. If somebody is stressed out from school, they probably have studying to do. Reading when stressed out, in a sense, would be like drinking or doing drugs when stressed. It doesn’t solve your problems, only makes you forget you have a problem. If you are stressed out from school, you don’t have time to read and waste your time, unless obviously your problem is reading.

  13. Profile photo of rstjean0351 rstjean0351 says:

    you did do a good job on this post but, one thing that bothers me is that your all facts and statistics which in my opinion is boring. no offense to you and your blog post but you could be a little more interesting.I got very bored reading this. Yes i can see how some people can be intrigued by this however on the other hand i can see how a lot of people wont be intrigued by this.Is there a way that you can spice up your blog post a little more so that everyone will want to read it.

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Hello Ron, thanks for leaving a comment. Could you be more specific about what really bored you about my blog post? I don’t recall inserting too many facts and statistics that would be uninteresting to readers, I tried to make my writing short and to the point, and as interesting as possible. I also tried to “spice” my blog post up by adding in a couple of videos, and plenty of outside links for additional information. If you could give some specific examples from the post that’d be great, though I’m not sure if you read my blog post considering how early you posted the reply.

  14. Profile photo of childrop8174 childrop8174 says:

    Hey Alex just so you know blog post was great and really makes me want to read more. And before I answer your questions I just want to ask some of my own. In the my recommendations tab there is the word *wip* and I have know idea what that means so…. What does it mean? I also wondered how you made your links open a new tab as I cannot figure that out.
    I would now like to mention the only mistake I could find *Drumroll* there is a spelling mistake just before your recommendations, it says “Theses lists” when you are talking about the top 100 books list. And now one more thing before I answer your questions. I am unable to get into books because I do not have adaquate time or setting get into the atmosphere of books because of school, my job and my family. As a result of this I mostly read short story compilations. Do you know of any books that would fit this sort of sub-genre for me? Now to your questions.
    1. I believe that reading does not need to occur more often but should haves common place in everyone’s life.
    2. I personally had a lot of reading integrated into my elementary schooling and am happy with the mount of reading needed in grade 9.
    3. I would recommend The Graveyard book. I donot remember who it is by but I would like to say that this is not some sort of necronomicon it is a sort of mystery thriller fantasy book about a boy who’s parents are killed by a group of hit men with supernatural powers. He however is able to escape into a graveyard that is protected from them. There he lives his life with the spirits who live there becoming one with each side of the realm growing and learning. It is very good and you should definetly check it out. Finally I would like to say thanks for reading and I will be sure to read death world and mysterious island as they sound great

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks for leaving the comment Cameron! WIP stands for Work In Progress- that section of the blog post I copied out of my response to Adam, and it may have grammar or spelling mistakes, as I have not had the time to look it over in detail. To make links open up in new tabs, simply highlight what you want to link, and press the button that looks like a link (or, in case of the comments, the button that says “link”). Some options should pop up, one of them being a check box for opening links in a new tab.
      Thanks for noting the mistake, I’ll edit it out. Also, concerning books that you might enjoy with the limited time you have, I think that various Sherlock Holmes books should be good, since Doyle’s works are composed of 56 short stories. They take around 15-30 minutes to read, and are very interesting and surprisingly deep considering their length. I don’t have a lot of experience with many other short stories, so you’d probably be better off doing some research on what short stories are considered good.
      I’ll also have a look at the book “The Graveyard”. From doing a quick google search, it seems as though it’s written by Neil Gaiman, an author that I’ve heard good things about. Thanks!

      1. Profile photo of childrop8174 childrop8174 says:

        I have read some of the Sherlock Holmes books before but I didn’t know there was short versions. I will be sure to search for them now. Thank you.

        1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

          Yeah, no problem! By the way, I actually picked up The Graveyard Book from the library today, and I am excited to start reading it. 😀

          1. Profile photo of childrop8174 childrop8174 says:

            Great tell me how it was when you finish it.

          2. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

            It was very enjoyable, though quite short. The story really captivated me near the end, and I was on the edge of my seat! I really liked the way Neil Gaiman (the author) writes, so I am interested in reading his other works.

  15. Profile photo of sadli5478 sadli5478 says:

    Hey Alex, this is a very persuasive essay and is well-written! I am definitely going to try reading more often! However, I would like to see you refute the opposite opinion, and if this is meant to be persuasive, doing so will enhance and strengthen your blog.

    1) So what is your opinion on reading- should it be something that people do more often?
    Reading is very important, it is a good hobby and is beneficial. It expands your creativity, imagination, and is essential in many jobs. Also, in university, there is a lot of textbook work therefore getting used to reading a lot will help you understand different types of written text and allow you to read heavy amounts of text assigned by professors.

    2) Do you believe that reading should see an increase as part of the school curriculum, and if so, why?
    I do believe there should be an increase in reading in the school curriculum. This is because, it can get students interested in reading. Maybe a student will walk into a class who does not like reading, introducing them to different genres and exposing them to different novels in literature will increase the chance that they actually start to like reading. Also, if the student enjoys a book, and there is a sequel to the book the student can really start to find a series that they genuinely enjoy reading.

    3) Do you have book recommendations? Any comments below would be appreciated. Thanks for reading! 🙂
    Some good books that I would recommend are: And Then There Were None, A Tale of Two Cities, The Da Vinci Code, any book in the Harry Potter series, Gone with the Wind, The Count of Monte Cristo, and finally, the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. No problem! I look forward to reading some of your other posts.

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks for replying and answering the questions in detail! I’ve already gotten some advice concerning adding counter-points, but I feel as though it would weaken the blog instead, as this is more of a persuasive piece than an opinion. There’s not really any disadvantages to reading that I can see (other than it being supposedly expensive and boring, which I covered), but if I find a way to make it work, I’ll edit something in. You provided some good recommendations- I’ve already read The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and they’re fantastic! As to the other 4, The Count of Monte Cristo is already installed on my Kindle, and I am really looking forward to reading it, and the rest seem like very interesting books that I will read as soon as possible! 🙂

  16. Profile photo of mkhushmo4204 mkhushmo4204 says:

    I agree that reading is a great thing and that everybody should read books. In fact, I am actually reading Lord of the Flies, one of the books included in the top 100 books of all time, and it is a great book so far. The book is about a group of young boys that crash onto a deserted island when they were leaving England due to the bombings during World War II. They are the only survivors and have to survive on their own on the island. They become split into two groups after arguing over what to do to survive, one of the groups want to find a way off the island while the other wants to hunt and find food. The story becomes more violent later on as they continue to fight.

    To answer your question
    Do you believe that reading should see an increase as part of the school curriculum, and if so, why?

    It should increase in the school curriculum as our English classes have become more technology based rather than the previous book/essay based. While I still enjoy English class, books are a great resource and should be used in classes more often than it is now.

    Great post-Alex and I can’t wait to read your future posts. 😀

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks for the reply Mahruf, I started reading Lord of the Flies a while back, and I mean to get back to it soon! Did you know that it won a Nobel Prize for Literature?
      I agree that book reports are great fun, and I would like to see more of them assigned.

      1. Profile photo of mkhushmo4204 mkhushmo4204 says:

        I didn’t know about the Nobel Prize that the book received. Wow, it’s even better than I thought. Well, thanks for the interesting fact Alex.

        1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

          Well, a book winning a Nobel Prize doesn’t indicate that it’s good, and it’s the only novel that I know of that has won the prize. It was more of a cool fact than anything else. Still looking forward to reading it though!

          1. Profile photo of mkhushmo4204 mkhushmo4204 says:

            Damn it, I fell for it again! Why do you keep torturing me with this song! It’s not even funny anymore! But on the subject, I agree that a Nobel Prize doesn’t indicate that it’s good, but it does draw attention. So I hope that you look forward to reading it.IT.

          2. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

            I do look forward to reading it! But what song are you talking about??

  17. Profile photo of hyoon7682 hyoon7682 says:

    I loved the topic and i also think reading is one of the most important things when it comes to improving your writing skills. You used efficiently used multi media and i enjoyed watching the TED video. In addition to that, excellent choice recommending Sherlock Holmes for mystery novels. I have already read many series of Sherlock Holmes, what would be other recommendations for mystery novels? Any other mystery novels you enjoyed?

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Hello, it’s great that you enjoyed the topic! But to your question regarding mystery novels, I actually haven’t read many other mystery novels other than Sherlock Holmes (which I will hopefully soon fix!). I have heard that The Complete Auguste Dupin Stories by Edgar Allan Poe are a great read, especially considering the author essentially created the genre. Stuff by Ian Flemming (James Bond) seems like a good choice as well, and Subhan’s suggestion And Then There Were None sounds interesting too.

      1. Profile photo of hyoon7682 hyoon7682 says:

        Thanks for replying! Your recommendations on the mystery novels sounds very interesting! I’ll make sure I’ll go look more into them.

  18. Profile photo of erepasi9082 erepasi9082 says:

    Great article Alex! I really like how you included some recommendations of books you enjoyed. I also liked how you included multiple videos and broke up the article into different sections, it made it very easy to follow. As for your questions, 1. I definitely think reading is very important and everyone should do it often. I myself do not read much but I should start to do so more. 2. I think the amount of reading in schools is enough, it gives students free time and they can read what they like at home as well.
    Overall, it was a great reading and I learned some new stuff!

  19. Profile photo of gcollaku0577 gcollaku0577 says:

    Fantastic blog Alex! It was very interesting to read and people seem (based on the comments I read) to agree with you on the importance of reading. Reading IS indeed very important in my opinion. If it weren’t for reading books (538 to be exact) in a year, I would’ve never learned English when I moved here from Iceland! I think it would be good to mention as well that reading can familiarize people with other cultures, countries and traditions in a way that would be hard to understand just by looking at a picture of a place or country. As well, reading keeps memories alive. A person may move onto the next life but if their stories are written down in a book, their memories will last forever. Once again, great post and wonderful book ideas!

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Thanks for the reply. Wow, that’s amazing that you read that many books- do you have any recommendations? And yes, I completely agree with what you say concerning how books can introduce you to other cultures and traditions, and that it’s quite amazing to be reading someone who’s passed away but remains “alive” in the sense that their words are still read by thousands.

      1. Profile photo of gcollaku0577 gcollaku0577 says:

        I’d recommend reading, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. It is a very interesting and touching story that most everyone can relate to in one way or another.

  20. Profile photo of smartin4237 smartin4237 says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog, and while I’m definitely not against reading, I just don’t like it. I have thoroughly enjoyed books that I’ve previously read, but with my current schedule I have very limited time in between school, sports, and my (not so) expansive social life. Books require you to stay still, and devote your attention for several hours, which is something that currently is hard to accomplish. My question to you is how would you get somebody like me, who has limited time to read access to literature while still being entertaining, and not so time consuming?

    1. Profile photo of aegorov5534 aegorov5534 says:

      Hey Sebastian, thanks for answering! There are plenty of articles online that can help you with deciding how to go about reading with limited time. My own recommendation is this- read 15-20 minutes at a time. Reading doesn’t necessarily entail sitting in one spot for a prolonged period of time. You can still get enjoyment from short bursts of reading, and especially so if you’re reading short stories. Things like Sherlock Holmes and a book I’m currently reading called Fragile Things (by Neil Gaiman) are perfect for this- they’re a compilation of 10-20 page stories and are very entertaining. Setting reading goals and practicing reading can also improve your speed. Finally, reading right after waking up or going to sleep is fantastic. I usually do so on weekends- a couple hours when I wake up followed by an hour before I go to bed and I’ve already made some good progress in my current book.
      If you want more info, check out http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/11-ways-busy-people-make-time-read.html or http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-jessen/how-to-make-time-to-read_b_6153350.html

  21. Profile photo of lshibli5863 lshibli5863 says:

    I totally agree with what your saying ,there are so many benefits to reading,great topic! I personally love to read and read for several hours each day and I have noticed a huge difference, for one I read faster than I used to,its a great way to relax and I have become more creative and more imaginative.

    So what is your opinion on reading- should it be
    something that people do more often?
    Yes I think it should be something people do more often a lot of people say they don’t like to read but they don’t realise that they just haven’t found the right book,that happened to me I hated reading till I found one that I connected with.
    Do you believe that reading should see an increase as part of the school curriculum, and if so, why?
    Yes,like you said,”Reading gives you a unique pause button for comprehension and insight….This improves both your analytic skills and memory, which are extremely useful skills to have.”
    If you’re a teacher, how do you assess the reading of your students (especially high-school where there is no DRA-like testing)?
    I would assess the reading of the students by how they answer certain questions from the text,how fast they could finish a certain amount of chapters and their rating of the book and why.
    Do you have book recommendations?
    I have been told that the book 1984 by George Orwell I haven’t read it but many say it is great and kind of scary from how true it really is even though it was made years before.

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