For students who are constantly swamped with academic reading and writing, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the literary world. It is crucial, however, for students to set aside time for recreational reading and to explore the types of literature that appeals to them.
Reading was a popular past time and passion for many of us as young children; this should not change with age. The excitement we once had when visiting the public library to pick out a book, attending book fairs at elementary school and finishing chapter books should not fade. Our experience with reading for fun should grow and evolve, just as we do.
Reigniting our generation’s passion for literature is essential. Yet, the percentage of adults who read at least one work of literature in the previous year fell to a low of 43 percent, according to a National Endowment for the Arts survey.
The concrete benefits of books are plentiful and deserve acknowledgement. For college students specifically, books provide an escape, a companion, a source of entertainment and a way to understand themselves and others. Furthermore, books instill empathy in readers, allowing them to relate fiction to their real lives and find greater collaboration, camaraderie and common ground.
Through literary fiction especially, authors encourage readers to exist in and imagine an alternate world. Whether someone is reading about the Boy Who Lived, the Mother of Dragons or simply a kid on his first day of school, all that matters is if reading that work is enjoyable. Gaining more experience reading recreationally will allow college students to de-stress and cope with daily academic and social pressures in a healthy way.
Picking up a novel to read for 20 minutes a night isn’t hard, and it can prove to be extremely helpful. The stigma college students often associate with literature needs a transformation; recreational reading must be reclaimed on college campuses.