As an English major, this semester has been nothing short of reading for me… And I have loved every minute of it (well, most of it)! Even though I complain sometimes about reading anywhere from 400 to 500 pages a week or more for my classes, looking back at the semester it has definitely all been worth it.
It truly is amazing how literature can really open up your mind to learn in a different way that isn’t necessarily as concrete as some other subjects. By making our mind look at all of the possibilities instead of a simple and concrete one way answer like A + B always equals C and by thinking intellectually about literature, our minds are trained to realize the value of differing opinions and outcomes. Also, studies have shown that as you read more, your writing will become better as your vocabulary begins to grow. Instead of looking at why reading is good for us, I believe the more pressing issue is why wouldn’t you want to read more?!
Reading for class isn’t the only thing that makes us continue to grow in knowledge though, outside reading for leisure is so important! By taking part in leisure reading, we have the opportunity to explore our interests, learn about new things, and find enjoyment in a scholarly activity.
During this summer, regardless of whether you’re going to be taking classes, interning, or working a part-time job, I encourage all of you to pick up a book and spend at least 30 minutes a day reading. Make a list of books you’ve been meaning to get to, and make sure at least some of them are Fiction! By reading works of Fiction, our minds have the opportunity to imagine and create a fantasy world outside of the everyday realm that is ultimately very productive for our minds.
Here is a list of books I want to read for the first time or revisit this summer, I encourage you to make your own list or take some from my Summer Reading Plan!
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- One Flew Short Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- Open House by Elizabeth Berg
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Little Bee by Chris Cleave
- Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale
- The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn by Mark Twain
- South of Superior by Ellen Airgood
- Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
- Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
So this summer, venture to the library or buy a book with that Barnes and Noble gift card you’ve been saving since your birthday.
I’ll be back in the Fall semester to talk about books some more, but until then… Happy Reading!
The Bookworm Belle