Dear library lovers,

A calming aura easily radiates throughout any bookstore, making them the perfect relaxing destination for getting work done or having a self-care day. Barnes & Noble is one of many bookstores that provides a plethora of books, records, magazines and many more alongside a cafe.

Photos by Farah Al-Rbehat

A calming aura easily radiates throughout any bookstore, making them the perfect relaxing destination for getting work done or having a self-care day. Barnes & Noble is one of many bookstores that provides a plethora of books, records, magazines and many more alongside a cafe.

As the temperatures drop, leaves change color and Taylor’s ten-minute version of ‘All Too Well’ suddenly starts playing in the background, readers everywhere get the sense that they should be spending their time alone with a book. People are always searching for ways to keep themselves occupied in times of solitude, and getting your daily dose of reading has been an adequate alternative to screen time. The habit of reading daily has been a primarily popular option for many, especially in recent times. 

Doctors, teachers and adults, in general, have always encouraged the younger generation to read daily. According to Markham Library, It benefits the growing mind by exercising the brain, as well as improving literacy and the ability to focus. Not to mention the free entertainment it provides, making it a better alternative to the daily use of screens. Indulging in novels expands one’s knowledge of human experiences, or excites the imagination with adventurous fantasy stories. Although reading has so many health benefits, most readers have picked up the habit for the simple pleasure it provides. 

“It’s about quiet. Being able to sit in a room, and still be entertained and still get a story, but it’s just quiet, “ said Jody Herring, teacher.

Reading relieves stress and is a soothing hobby of sorts. Finding just a bit of free time and deciding to spend it alone with a book provides the same sense of relaxation as taking a nice bath after a long day. It engages the senses, acting out scenes in your head, leaving you to feel as though you are a character in the story you have picked up. One can escape reality and indulge in a world that is their own. Every story is better than the last, ready to enchant and touch the reader’s heart.

“I like relating to what is written, ” said Yasmine Arikat, senior.

There are countless books of different genres carrying stories, each uniquely perfect for a reader to indulge in. Whether it be a popular recommendation or blindly having chosen the book from the shelf, there is no guarantee of knowing how the story will affect a reader. One can find themself connecting with the characters, their situations and many more reasons to fall in love with a story. Although at times, what makes a book appealing to a reader can come down to the author’s writing style. Ranging from annoying characters to poor plots, it takes a good writer to keep a reader hooked till the end. But the quality of a story is not exactly a deal breaker for all bookworms, reading a bad book is better than reading nothing. 

Rows of books, filled with unique stories. Photos by Farah Al-Rbehat

“I have to finish it because I’m expecting it to get better, but when it doesn’t it’s disappointing,”  said Arikat. “But it’s whatever because I just want to read. ” 

Although many read for pure pleasure, there are many instances in which people read to expand their knowledge on certain topics. Books that deal with heavy topics are a crucial part of today’s society, one would not want to come off as ignorant. It is widely known that if someone seeks understanding, they search for factual information. In book genres, they are simplified to strictly non-fiction. But there is a wide range of novels and memoirs that share stories to spread awareness on heavy topics. Entertainment and knowledge can coincide in writing. It is a way for authors to have a serious conversation with their readers while keeping them entertained. 

“You understand that there are so many alternatives to the way you live, there are so many different stories in the world,” said Herring. 

Avid readers are known to be more understanding, knowledgeable and slightly irritating at times. They consume all these words, stories and narratives, which leads them to sympathize and empathize with the characters they read of. Every character, setting and plot is different, they become aware that the environment they are living in is not the only one in the world. They educate themselves on different situations in which real people are, which is a constant necessity. Ignorant is a word that scares readers, which may be why they can come off as annoying at times. They want no more than to share their knowledge and understanding of the world with those around them, all the while talking about something they love.

Photos by Farah Al-Rbehat

“My friends are readers as well so they understand the passion, ” said Arikat.

Reading is about quiet; to be alone with a book is to be at peace. Like most hobbies, it takes constant exposure and performance to familiarize yourself with it. Whether it be parents reading kids bedtime stories or reading a book in school for English, most readers have been surrounded by a literature positive environment for a while. Although, it is fairly easy to refuse reading for pleasure due to all the forced reading done in class.

“When we read Beloved, that was so important to read, that was fun to read, everyone enjoyed it. Whereas when we read Shakespeare…” said Arikat.

…Not everyone finds Shakespeare entertaining. School books are so important, so they should be engaging and interesting. The curriculum requires a great deal of dissecting, analysis and socratic seminars to further understand the choice of text. Customarily, the books are chosen to bring awareness and understanding towards important topics that students don’t typically talk about. To dive so deep into a text wouldn’t seem so draining if the books were slightly more interesting. Rather than boring themselves with 200 pages worth of monotonous words, students get out of reading the book by just watching the movie adaptation. But that is easier said than done when it comes to reading a book you like.

“Books are always better than the movies,” said Arikat.

The “movie adaptation vs book” conversation is more truth than controversy. The adaptation tends to lack the depth in story that a book provides. You are unable to play out and fully understand the scenes in a movie, the way you can in a book. Unlike movies, the words in pages give alternative interpretations of characters and plots, differing with every unique mind. Instead of revealing an entire story in the span of two hours, books tell a tale that takes hours of dedication to understand. 

Of course, not everyone has that kind of time on their hands. There are many hobbies out there that can provide a similar feeling to the one of reading; listening to music, being active, socializing or watching a show or movie. There is a certain soothing element to reading that puts a book worm at ease, recreating that familiar ‘high’ that makes it a recurring constant in one’s life. 

“As good as a movie or tv show is, a good book is just so much better, “ said Herring.