A Case For Books: Rediscover the Joys of Reading

A Case for Books: Rediscover the Joys of Reading


A Case for Books: Rediscover the Joys of Reading

By: Lauren DePiero

We’ve all heard it for years: technology is ruining our lives in more ways than we can count. We are told it ruins our eyesight, mental health, productivity, etc. I don’t necessarily buy into that mindset because I recognize we all have free will and can limit our technology intakes responsibly. However, one of the strongest negative aspects of the technological age has been the downfall of reading books. 

Not everyone is a reader, but I’ve loved books as far back as I can remember, and I’m sure many can relate. Before we had phones or laptops at our constant disposal, books were sources of entertainment and joy. I know I’m not the only one who spent nights as a child with a flashlight hidden under my covers so that I could finish a book when I was supposed to be sleeping. 

Reading a book often feels even more engaging than watching a movie. We create our own worlds, pictures of the characters and perceptions of the events described. Reading requires complete focus, so it pulls us out of our daily lives, our fears and our problems. Reading a book brings us into a state of peace and adventure, letting us dive into others’ worlds. However, sadly, it seems that reading is slowly becoming a lost art for many young adults. 

Reading an entire book takes time and requires elimination of distractions, which is almost impossible in a world in which a plethora of distractions exists at the mere click of a button or opening of a phone lock screen. Many of my peers even report feeling distracted while watching Netflix, saying their phones distract them with notifications from social media apps and texts. If young adults are feeling distracted when trying to watch TV shows, how can they possibly focus on reading a novel, a task that requires complete attention? 

While making the active decision to read requires more conscious effort now than ever before, everyone is perfectly capable. Personally, I rediscovered the joys of reading by accident. I was recently on vacation and found myself on an eight-hour plane ride with no internet access and no TV shows or movies downloaded onto my phone to watch. 

At first, this seemed unbearable, but then I remembered I had packed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in my carry on bag. I started the book, and within minutes, remembered why reading was one of my first loves in this world. I was totally absorbed, flipping the pages as quickly as I could, stuck in a world outside of my own. 

I suggest anyone wanting to rediscover (or discover for the first time) the immense joys of reading, to simulate the environment I was forced to enter into by getting on the airplane. Turn your phone off or on airplane mode, tuck your laptop away, and find a quiet space. Pick up an old favorite book from childhood or a new one you’ve seen that peaks your interest. Then, sit down and begin to create your own world. 

In a world that begs us to forget books or decide we’re too busy to take the time necessary to read them, we must resist. Books have had the power to transform thought, inspire imagination, evoke tears, and induce laughter ever since they emerged in our world. We may have access to an almost infinite number of distractions, but there is no feeling directly comparable to immersing oneself in a book and becoming attached to the story it tells.