By: Andy Chen
To many students, reading is synonymous with a sense of boredom and pointlessness, to the point where students who publicly read are jokingly mocked by their peers. Despite this social stigma around reading, it’s in your best interest to read more, not less, because reading develops a variety of important skills important in your everyday life.
The greatest benefit of reading provides is an improvement in critical thinking. When reading, students constantly ask themselves why an event occurs or a character acts, and because books challenge readers to interact with various characters and events, students who read are able to better their critical thinking skills as well as their breadth of knowledge.
Additionally, reading benefits students academically, such as vocabulary and reading comprehension (important for the SAT!) gradually improve as they read more. Writing, arguably the most important subject taught in school, is directly correlated with how much students read, as students are exposed to new styles of writing and storylines; essentially, reading boosts creativity.
Reading strategically delivers the key benefits of reading more effectively than reading without a purpose. When reading, it’s important to read a variety of material, including fiction, nonfiction, and news sources in order to gain new perspectives. This is especially important now since students should seek to understand and form their own opinions on the looming humanitarian and political discussions resulting from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and COVID-19, respectively.
Overall, reading is a valuable but often overlooked and ridiculed tool, as students tend to stigmatize reading despite its various benefits. With most school years over and a shelter-in-place order being enforced, meaning that students have much more free time compared to usual. Setting aside time for reading, rather than Netflix or video games, would prove a wiser — and perhaps a more rewarding — decision.