With homework, jobs, extracurricular activities and athletics, there are not a lot of opportunities for college students to read books for pleasure.
Before college, I remember staying up late to finish the last few words of a book before starting a new book the next day. However, I dedicate less time to recreational reading since I have so many obligations as a college student.
U.S. News found that many students do not read for pleasure because they are required to read a large amount for their classes.
“Although the burden academics place on a student’s time is a major factor in whether he or she voluntarily reads outside of the classroom, 77 percent of students reported having too much reading for class as a reason for not reading for fun,” said Ryan Lytle, staff writer for U.S. News.
Despite having busy schedules, it is important for college students to continue reading books for fun. Not only does reading facilitate learning, but it also enables growth.
Marja Mogk, who has a doctorate in English and teaches at California Lutheran University, expressed the importance of reading.
“If we use reading only as a utilitarian tool when necessary, we miss so much we could be experiencing. Reading opens up experiences and lets us reflect on it and share it with others. Through reading we can learn things that we would otherwise not know,” Marja Mogk said in an email interview.
Even though we often read short articles on social media, we are unable to learn about a topic in depth if we rely on these outlets for information.
Mogk said she believes we are missing out on a lot by restricting our reading to bite-size bits. Despite this, being able to choose from a variety of genres and outlets is advantageous.
“Genres all enable us to live fully in the world in different ways. Most of all, at its heart, reading connects us deeply to others in a culture that is very logo-centric,” Mogk said.
Not only does reading allow people to become more relatable and well-rounded, but it also makes people smarter, according to whytoread.com.
“Those who read have been known to have more finely-tuned brains than those who prefer more passive activities, so anyone hoping to improve their mind both psychologically and cognitively might want to think about taking up the habit of regular reading,” according to whytoread.com.
The website includes the research of Anne E. Cunningham and Keith E. Stanovich, who wrote “What Reading Does for the Mind.”
They found that people who read frequently “tend to display greater knowledge of how things work and who or what people were.”
Our attention span has shortened due to technological advances, which makes it difficult for people to read entire books.
According to medicaldaily.com, our attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish.
“A recent study by Microsoft Corporation has found this digital lifestyle has made it difficult for us to stay focused, with the human attention span shortening from 12 seconds to eight seconds in more than a decade,” according to medicaldaily.com.
Rather than limiting yourself to short articles on your handheld device, reading full-length texts can improve your focus and concentration.
“Being fully engaged in a book involves closing off the outside world and immersing yourself into the text, which over time will strengthen your attention span,” according to whytoread.com.
Students should read for the purpose of enjoyment, whether they choose to read philosophical texts or mystery novels. They should put down their technological devices so that they can fully enjoy the story.