Power of reading books translates to every aspect of life

By ElsaJurrens

I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. I was the type of kid to read every road sign and the back of cereal boxes. Pulling all-nighters to finish a series, scrolling on Wattpad, spending way too much money at Barnes and Noble and downloading hundreds of books on Kindle Unlimited has been a constant part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Senior Elsa Jurrens browses Marian’s supply of non-fiction books in the Haddix Academic Center. Jurrens clutches one of her favorite reads, “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. Photo by ElissaEisele.

When I began reading, it was a simple way for me to escape to a new world from the comfort of my bedroom. Unknowingly, my habit of reading has given me so much and I consider it one of the most underrated blessings in my life.

The first pro everyone thinks about reading is the academic side of things. Yes, it expands your grammar, improves your writing, broadens vocabulary and arguably the most important thing- raises your ACT score, but reading is so much more than your English class. Though these are all great assets, they are not the reasons I love to read.

I have never experienced the empty feeling of boredom. Nothing on TV? Scrolled all the way through TikTok? Nothing to do in class? It’s no problem when you have a good book. Even long check out lines in the grocery store don’t seem as bad when you have the Kindle app on your phone. Books aren’t like your favorite Netflix series, they are never ending. There are always new series to get into, new characters to meet and different genres to read.

Books are like an emotional crutch. Books are patient and don’t question or judge us. They are one of the best refuges from the troubles of life. They allow us to truly feel and accept our emotions. I have plenty of books with tear stains on the pages and many funny rom-coms I can pull out after I have had a rough day. Books truly soothe the soul and act as our best friend. No matter how crazy my life is, I can rely on books to keep me grounded.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it is also scientifically proven that books help mental health. One of the most common symptoms of depression is the feeling of isolation. Books help lessen this feeling because they are always there for us, no matter what. Even in the depths of night, you can enjoy the company of books. Reading helps you temporarily escape your world and get swept up in another world. Once someone said to me, “doesn’t reading make you sad because all these characters get to go on adventures while you sit in your room?” Absolutely not, because I am going on an adventure with them.

Reading has given me some of my best friends. It is a super easy way to connect with people and a great ice breaker. Most of my really close friends are also readers. Sharing books with each other, fighting over what the best love trope is (it’s slow burn) and complaining about how long it will take the author to publish the next book in a series are regular topics of discussion during our hangouts. Reading brings people together.

Arguably, the most important gift reading has given me is that it has made me a better person. A good book enriches your mind and broadens your perspective. I have learned so much about history, people and even life. Different types of books bring different types of perspectives and influence the way we see the world. Books offer us the opportunity to live different lives and allow us to empathize with others. What sticks after you read a book is how it made you feel and that feeling can change the way you think, act and interact with others.

No matter where your relationship with reading is, I hope I have inspired you to pick up a book and read. I en- courage you to try to read new genres, take book recommendations from friends and family and most impor- tantly, learn from the books you read. Even if it is just a chapter a night, reading will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine.

2 thoughts on “Power of reading books translates to every aspect of life

  1. What a great reflection on the power of reading! I love this, Elsa. Just today a bunch of teachers were talking about their recent reads at lunch. We talk about books all the time, and it definitely brings us closer together.


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