Back to the Bookshelves


Samantha Shapiro

From time to time, I journey my way towards a bookshelf in the Lancer Library to pick up an interesting, eye-catching title and take a good, long look at it. Then I put it back— I would rather look more into the future than take a gander at reading. While reading sometimes happens here and there, it’s been something that’s just shelved off in a dusty corner after years of proclaiming, “Read a good book!” and “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” Summer reading program booths become something you look at from afar rather than participate in. Sometimes, after those years of reading book after book for the fun of it, the process turns to burnout— the plots become too repetitive, characters become similar and blurred, new interests take over what originally drew you into the new and different perspectives. Contributing to this is the high school literature read for English— Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, for instance, filled with dull, archaic terms that just aren’t as relatable or easy to understand. Not all books are dull, though, and taking the time to go back to the bookshelves can be a fun change from current high school habits of studying and new hobbies. Beginning to take the step back into reading after a well-deserved break can be a great learning practice.

Books can be journeys into new thought. The inspiration you can draw from other people’s combinations of words is inspiring in of itself, painting portals into landscapes from your imagination. The ability to transport yourself into a different place through the diction of a well-versed author can create passions and interests, solve problems, explain situations, even connect with a character.

Or, you can just lose the patience for expanding your knowledge by swearing off books completely.

“I just don’t have the time to do it,” the overworked student exhales, sobbing internally at the paper mountain left behind, the lowest priority. But here’s a word of advice: borrowing some time and a title off the shelf could be an interesting change from the average visual consumption. Perhaps you’ll even change your mind after a chapter or two. And the others? Pick it up that one action-adventure sometime. Get into that weird sci-fi fantasy that seems just interesting enough to pique your interest. Enjoy the books you read, the ideas you learn from them. Picking up one every so often isn’t the worst thing in the world— that potential new perspective gained from it is worth the time of reading.