First things first, you do not hate reading. No one does! We all read bedtime stories when we were children, which introduced us to simple ideas like colors, letters and characters. It was also a time for us as children to be held, quieted down and comforted. Reading is built into our foundation of human connection and education from the get-go, so why do some people grow up to resent it?
The Negative Connotation
It stems from the education system. Kids are taught from an early age, whether it be by the media or just by their peers, to hate homework. Homework has a largely negative connotation surrounding it, so when students are assigned reading as homework, it links reading as something they should not want to do.
There are also the curriculums that schools implement involving reading that could make it something children want to avoid. The classics like “Romeo and Juliet” or “Great Expectations” are classics for a reason; they are well-composed stories that remain alluded to as time goes on, but chances are, they are not the books that are going to make the majority of students love reading. So, if the books that students are reading in school are not books they like, that means that students will have to take up other books in their free time, which is highly unlikely when things like the internet exist.
Fixing the Stigma
Some people THINK that they hate reading, but VALLEY is going to prove them wrong. It only takes one book to help someone rediscover their love for reading that they had as a little kid– and there are endless options of books to get them back into it. The Penn State library offers millions of books that are waiting to be read. Book TikTok, otherwise known as “BookTok” is booming with recommendations that your specific algorithm thinks you will like. The New York Times is consistently reviewing the best books of the year. There are so many different ways to fall back in love with reading and to find your perfect book.
There are just as many benefits to reading as there are books available. It is a form of escapism that lets you fall into another world, one that is not filled with your own stresses. It can be a great form of alone time, while simultaneously igniting your imagination and flexing your creative muscles.
If you think you hate reading, you are not alone. Plenty of people have fallen victim to the falsehood of the negative connotated task of reading but reading surrounds your day-to-day life. When you are on your phone, you’re reading. When you’re looking up that lyric in the song you just heard, you are reading. It’s all around you! You may as well pick up a book and feel like a little kid again.