Jumping Back into the World of Pleasure Reading


Photo courtesy of Emma Winton

Emma Winton, Reporter, Co-Editor

With rising advances in technology and constant streams of information on social media, teenagers today are finding it harder to find the motivation and desire to read. There’s always something to look at on your phone, especially on platforms like Tik Tok, where you get something new every time you scroll.

One thing I’ve seen people reporting on social media is swapping their screen time for reading time. For example, if your data shows that you have an average daily screen time of seven hours a day, you’d try reading for those seven hours instead. While I have yet to try this, I think it could be really helpful. It may not sound appealing to read for seven hours at a time, so just taking hour-long segments during your day to try reading rather than mindlessly scrolling could be very beneficial.

Something helpful that I’ve done is downloading the app GoodReads. This app can be used in many ways, from making lists of books you want to read, and looking at reviews of your favorite books. For people who love organization and structure, it can be really helpful to put the books you want to read into digitized categories.

The most useful feature of this app for me is the reading challenge. You set your reading goal to however many books you want to read in a year, and it tracks your progress. You can look at it every day and see how many books behind you are to stay on track of your reading goal.

The word “annotating” is one we often associate with school reading. However, I’ve found that on re-reads of books, annotating can be really helpful! It provides a better understanding of the story, and if you don’t mind writing in your books, it looks really cool when you’re done.

In some neighborhoods there are “sidewalk libraries”, which are little book boxes for people to take and drop off books. I’ve found some books that I’ve really wanted to read in those, including an annotated copy of The Great Gatsby. The best part is that they’re completely free. If part of the reason you’re holding yourself back from reading is all the money you’d have to spend on books, then these are a great option.

Studies have shown that trying to do homework in bed is usually unsuccessful. This is because our brains associate our beds with sleep and relaxation. While this information may seem irrelevant to some people, the same can be said for reading. For me, reading in bed for a long time makes me drowsy and I find myself wanting to sleep, rather than continue with my book. Going somewhere else or taking a book outside can really help to increase focus and energy.

Recently, I have found books I remember really enjoying as a child/pre-teen. Re-reading these books has actually been a super fun way to add more books to my list. Not only does reading those create a fun feeling of nostalgia, but you can get through them a lot faster since your reading level is higher.

Here are some of my favorite books I’ve read recently, after getting back into reading:

  • The Inheritance Games– Jennifer Lynne Barnes 

This book is young adult fiction, with notes of mystery throughout. The story follows Avery Grambs, a high school student who inherits the entire fortune of a man she’s never met. If you liked the movie Knives Out, you will love this book. It was one of my favorite movies when it came out, and I read this book faster than the other two I’m recommending. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It also just recently became a trilogy! So if you read it and want to continue being immersed in this world, look out for the next two books, The Hawthorne Legacy, and The Final Gambit.


  • Beach Read– Emily Henry 

The title of this book may sound familiar to anyone who was on “BookTok” over the last year or so. This popular romance novel is about a writer named January Andrews, who takes a vacation to her family’s beach house after her father passes away. There, she meets Augustus Everrett, also a writer. Both of them suffer from cases of writer’s block, and the story tracks their journey through the summer. This book is solely responsible for getting me back into reading. It was one of the first books I read this year, and I finished it in about two weeks. As a hopeless romantic, I was enraptured by these characters and their stories, so I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fun romance book to enjoy.


  • That’s Not What Happened– Kody Keplinger 

This is the story of six of the survivors of the Virgil Country High School shooting, and it’s been three years since the tragedy. As we all know, the media can really mess stories up, and these survivors want to come clean about what really happened the day of the shooting. While it can be hard to read about tragic and true events, this book does it in such an interesting way, and it made me want to read more every time I had to put it down. If you like these kinds of stories and don’t mind shifting character perspectives, this is the book for you.

For a lot of teenagers who read a lot as kids, picking up a new book isn’t exactly a top priority anymore. However, finding a book you love only motivates you to continue reading more often.