How to Read in Your Free Time

By Ava DePersio

Reading books can be a stress reliever for some people, and can be a way to escape. Some people like to use their free time to read. 

   With an increase in technology, people may reach for their phones instead of a book. Sometimes it can be difficult to start reading, especially if people did not grow up with books. If people did not grow up reading, then they may have an issue making it a habit in the future. According to ‘Reading Rockets.Org,’ “Once children lose interest in reading, it [can be] hard to get them back… The motivation to read also tends to decrease as kids get older.” It can also be difficult if there was not someone or some book that made people interested in reading to begin with. “Nobody [got me interested] in reading… so I do not have any interest [in it] … [to me it is] boring,” said a Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) senior who wishes to remain anonymous. If there is a certain book that interests someone, then it could become enjoyable and make them want to read more. Books can allow people to learn something new, and discover new interests that they might have. Kristen Staver, a PVHS sophomore said, “A book of poems [got me interested in reading] … I like poems and how they twist and turn… [I like] how poems make you think.” 

   It can be challenging to start the habit of reading if there is a negative mindset towards it. Having to be told what book to read can cause some people to not want to pick up a book because it could feel like work to them. “I do not enjoy reading so I have no motivation to do it, [but] I tell myself I do not want a zero [as a grade] so [then] I read,” said a PVHS senior who wishes to remain anonymous. If people start to have the mindset that reading is work, they could be less willing to pick up a book in their free time, because then it could start to feel like a chore. However, people who approach reading with a positive mindset not only read the books assigned by teachers, but also might spend their free time reading because they enjoy it. “Everyone should read because it expands your vocabulary and offers another way of thinking,” explained a PVHS senior who wishes to remain anonymous. Independent reading can be a wonderful habit to have. “I read [over] forty pages a night,” said PVHS sophomore Kristen Staver. Others who read in their free time may even feel as though they are not reading as much as they would like to. A PVHS sophomore who wishes to remain anonymous explained, “Over [winter] break I read an entire book… [but] I would say I do not read as frequently as I should.” 

   Having people around who enjoy reading, might also encourage others to start reading. Seeing someone read a book with an intriguing title or cover can spark an interest to read that certain book. Asking others for book recommendations and seeing what kind of books fellow peers enjoy could also get more people to start reading. A PVHS sophomore who wishes to remain anonymous said, “My middle school English teacher got me [interested in reading] … she picked good books for us to read.” Another PVHS sophomore who wishes to remain anonymous said, “My mom [encouraged me to start reading] when I was nine years old, [that is when I] started reading books for fun.” Reading books at a young age can allow people to grow up reading, and they may continue to do it as they get older. Family members, peers, and teachers can influence others to pick up a book, and it can create a love for reading.


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