As a classic English major, you can safely assume that I am also the classic book nerd. I think reading is like so cool. Honestly. This summer, when I found Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns both by Khaled Hosseini I decided to give ‘em a try.
Conclusion: I nearly swallowed them whole.
The refugee crisis in Afghanistan never particularly came up in conversation in my friend group. So as someone with little knowledge about the issue, these books introduced me to a whole new world. I can’t even explain how many times I cried, laughed and nearly passed out from holding my breath while reading Hosseini’s books. I don’t think I could’ve read them faster.
When I finished reading these books, this feeling grew inside of me that begged me to talk about what I ‘d just read. The stories in these books left me dumb-found at the world around me. I now lived in a world I barely recognized.
I tried to talk to some of my friends but none of them were particularly interested in reading these books. Reading is just out of fashion… I guess.
Why in the world is reading books so out of style?
Now picture a warm and casual Saturday morning. It’s 10 a.m. A groggy student heads to the library for some studying (Yep, that is me). I really don’t feel like studying. I plop down in my usual cubicle and pull out my computer. I stare at my half-written essay and internally groan.
Plot twist: I decide to distract myself for a while and go to the front desk of the library and ask where I can find a good mystery book to prolong the grind. She points me in the direction of the “Pop-Culture” section and tells me that I could choose from a selection of 315 books. Out of a library of 3 million books, how is this possible?
Maybe nobody reads because libraries, like the O’neill Library at Boston College, stopped promoting it.
I wanted to my friends to get into reading so that they could understand how freakin’ awesome it really is! I kept thinking about how Boston College lacked avid readers. BC is considered a prestigious school, or so I thought. I found myself at a loss to find conversation partners who would want to talk to me about the books I read.
Why don’t libraries endorse more pleasure reading for students? It would be a healthy activity for college students. I understand that we all lead really busy lives… but we could carve out some time to read even if only once or twice a week.
On the Library Journal, an anonymous writer who goes by “Annoyed Librarian” discusses how libraries are barely about books anymore. Libraries supposedly change to help people become more innovative and creative. Since when have regular books and novels not promoted creativity and out of the box thinking?
The librarian said, “In most college and university libraries, if you’re not supplying the books and articles your faculty wants, you’re not doing part of what should be your job.” In other words, a librarian’s job isn’t to promote a love of reading and learning through literature, but to only supply what is necessary.
You don’t need to be a mega-nerd to love reading. I go out and socialize but still love to read on my free time.
Basically nobody is truly at fault for this. Librarians don’t always supply the books we crave reading. And college students barely have any time at all to casually read a book between schoolwork, paying jobs and unpaid internships.
But perhaps we would read for leisure more if libraries provided us with options. And then they could remind us those options existed with colorful signs encouraging students to read or signs pointing to the “fun-book” section of the library.
When in doubt, ask a friend what you want to read. Or look at book reviews and figure out what you really enjoy.
Moral of the story: Read more, people.