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Why You Should Read More: The Case for Pleasure Reading

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Coastal Carolina chapter.

This year, I told myself I would read more. As an English major, I feel a certain pressure to be reading a lot, all the time, in order to defend my position as qualified enough to be deserving of the title. I already had one library card, but I began to research other towns’ libraries and realized I could have two, so I made the forty-five-minute drive to get myself one. Then I did it again a week later to convince another friend to get one and then repeated the process with another friend who wasn’t even an English major. I’ve written about my passion for libraries before, and this library had all the things a book-loving student like myself could want, namely a flourishing, stuffed-shelves, YA section on the 2nd floor. Not only does the library have good vibes, but it also has online ebook and audiobook lending services that my other library lacks. I am a huge proponent and defender of audiobooks. They’re my favorite way to wind down at night! Set a sleep timer for thirty minutes so your book pauses after time is up, with no alarm noise or anything to startle you. Several of the different apps have different books based on what’s available to them and what the library is paying for, so having three at my disposal has been a gift that keeps on giving! 

Alright, alright, enough gushing about libraries. To begin to circle back to my title, let’s delve into the crux of my argument. Making an effort to read more is better than fulfilling a statistic. I had months over summer break to fill, which flew too quickly for my liking, and I filled my time with books like I used to do as a kid. It not only feels nostalgic and fulfilling to come home with a tote full of library books, but you also get to make time to spend in those words, concentrating on the written word. I get to feel like I’m honing my craft as a creative and academic writer, but I keep my finger on the pulse of trending books, and which books are being published by who. Who is reading the audiobooks and what publishing houses are producing them; all these questions are answered easily through the information in the apps I access through my library. However, gaining industry knowledge and scratching the need for nostalgic occurrences in daily life are not the only reasons you should read (not even to improve your vocabulary!). I’m going to let you in on a secret…reading…is fun! In my daily life, it can be easy to fall into a negative mindset, feeling consumed by deadlines, worrying about things outside of my control, or other spiraling mental patterns I need to consciously work against. Mindfulness may sound like a buzzword or some New-Age BS, but reading is a great habit to have, at least for me. It coincides with practicing mindfulness, as it is a great way to destress and escape your emotions (and the pressures of the outside world!). I set myself a thirty-five-book goal to hit using Goodreads, and have since extended it to forty-two. I surprised myself by finishing more books than I thought I could in a year! Reading for pleasure is fundamental to my own happiness and to preserving a good headspace, and I hope that this inspires you to do the same! Try taking a few short books, or YA books with illustrations, like Leigh Bardugo’s magnificent The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic! Work your way up to bigger volumes like Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, or listen to them in audiobook format throughout the day to finish by their return date. No matter what, have fun with your new, or revitalized, hobby!

Carissa Soukup

Coastal Carolina '23

Carissa Soukup is an English major with a minor in Communications. Her hobbies are reading, listening to music, and brushing her cat. Her goal is to work in the publishing industry. She dreams of eventually living in a log cabin with several more cats after traveling the world.