Over the past two years, reading has become a part of my daily routine. In 2021, I made a New Year’s resolution to read one book a month and ended up reading 35 books. This year, I had a goal to read 50 books but read 50 by the middle of April, so now my goal is 150. Reading has become one of my favorite hobbies.
I grew up reading and loved doing it until middle school when reading became mandatory for my English classes. I did not like being forced to read books I had no interest in, so I stopped reading entirely. I tried to read the books assigned to me but never finished any of them. This continued through high school, but I made it my mission to read a book monthly during the latter half of my senior year and found that getting to choose the books I read is what made reading enjoyable.
High schoolers often do not want to read the assigned reading for English class, and this carries over to college. Most college classes require more reading done outside of class time, but the mandatory readings in high school make it hard for students to get back into reading for classes. There have been studies that have shown the majority of college students do not read in-depth for assignments, and adults in the United States are spending less time reading. Reading benefits people of all ages. Some benefits include reducing stress, increasing brain activity and expanding vocabulary. However, with technology growing rapidly in popularity, reading has moved to the back burner for so many people.
During the past two years, book TikTok, also known as “BookTok,” has increased in popularity and so have book sales. Because of how expansive TikTok is, BookTok has reached millions of people, and many authors like Colleen Hoover and Taylor Jenkins Reid have seen an increase in popularity. Many BookTok creators are young readers, which helps them connect with their peers and helps more young people become interested in reading.
BookTok has even influenced the book-selling giant Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble and TikTok have a partnership: a summer reading challenge that motivates people to post about books they read. Many Barnes & Noble stores also have BookTok tables that contain the most talked about books on the site. BookTok has helped bring reading back to a younger generation and has increased book sales worldwide.
Reading has made me a better person. It has helped me focus for an extended period of time, and it has helped me connect with others who read the same books. I also do not spend as much time on my electronics. Not spending as much time on electronics has helped me reconnect with my family and friends and has decreased my stress/anxiety.
Reading can be done virtually anywhere, and there are many ways to get discounted or even free books. There are many libraries in Pima County where people can borrow books, and places like Bookman’s offer gently used books at discounted prices. If people do not want physical books, Amazon Kindle is a great alternative and Kindle Unlimited is cheaper than buying books monthly.
Reading is a hobby that everyone can enjoy. It is easy to get into, helps reduce stress and has many benefits. You can enjoy it alone or read with family and friends, and reading can help you lose yourself in an imaginary world.
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Kelly Marry (she/her) is a freshman majoring in journalism and public relations. She loves to read and travel in her free time.