As some people may know, I bring The New York Times to school every day to read. Sometimes I also bring a different book, if there is free time in class or if I have nothing to do during Rider Time. Last year I read “1984,” “Brave New World,” and “Fahrenheit 451” (I was really into dystopian fiction) mostly in my sixth period. I am also pretty sure I’m one of the few people at Roosevelt who really enjoys reading. This may make me a nerd, but what does it make all of the people who don’t like to read? Why do so many people openly hate reading? I know it’s hard, I know sometimes it’s boring, but books teach us things. They help us see from others perspectives, show us insight into relationships. On a more school related point, reading will definitely increase your vocabulary. But most importantly, books let you experience things you would never get the chance to in your life. They let you explore. I think all the people that say they can’t read simply haven’t found the right book. People should be proud to read. Reading makes you grow, makes you think, and everyone should be encouraged to do both of those things. High School is supposed to be where people start to figure out who they are, who they want to be, and reading gives you examples. It shows you the different ways people can live out their lives, the different consequences and challenges that our actions make in the future. By reading, you are learning about life.

That said, I really just don’t understand why people don’t read. If you just give it a try, read a fun book, not a hard one, I think people would change. Besides, as my soccer coach used to say, “almost nothing easy is ever worth doing.” Just go to a library, go to the Roosevelt library, literally come up to me and ask to borrow a book. I want people to read. To understand what it feels like to walk down the Baker Street with Sherlock Holmes, or journey through Middle Earth with Bilbo Baggins. I want people to be excited about things that they love, and not have to worry about being called a nerd simply because they put their eyes to some paper. Yes, I like Lord of the Rings. How do you know you don’t? Don’t bash it ‘til you try it. Plus, it’s super fulfilling when you finish a book, because you know you worked hard to get that thing done. And if books are too much commitment, try poetry! It’s like a book, but shorter. There’s words out there for everyone. I’ll leave you guys with my favorite quote, by George R.R. Martin.

 

“Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true? We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La. They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to Middle Earth.”

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