When you walk around campus nowadays, you often see phones — a lot of phones. What you hardly ever see is books. Why is it that no one reads anymore? Is it the continuous push toward the social media craze? Most likely. I tried something different. For the last few months, I read one book per month. I read a lot of books, and I actually learned quite a bit from this experience.
Books are still prevalent. The first thing I learned, and perhaps the most important thing, is that books are not ancient artifacts. Believe it or not, they are around and readily available for your reading pleasure. In my small hometown, I used to work at our public library in high school. I would shelve books and help the elderly customers that were in need of their favorite novels. Even in 2019, this public library is still crowded each time I pass it, which gives me a lot of hope for the future. Whenever it came time for me to grab a new book, I had a multitude of places to choose my book from. The library, chain bookstores, independent bookstores (my personal favorite — support local booksellers!).
Reading more means less wasting time. The best part of this experience? I hardly used my phone. Before this challenge, I was using my phone constantly; I would click on Instagram and Twitter every few minutes. The time I spent reading was so much more beneficial. I was productive, and that surge of productivity made me a happier person. I think reading books can be thought of as a nerdy activity, but in reality, it’s the complete opposite. I noticed that I was ensuring that my brain was getting a daily workout. My eyesight got clearer. I even started wanting to read in my spare time, which never used to happen.
It helped me sleep better. Blue light from screens is known to influence our sleeping schedules. If you fall asleep while scrolling through your phone, you most likely won’t sleep as well as you would like to. Reading more often changed my sleeping habits for the better. I noticed that I fell asleep quicker, too. I would try to read a few chapters while lying in bed, and after a few weeks, I noticed that I was falling asleep quicker than ever before. My anxiety decreased, and I felt more awake and present during the day. Books are just amazing.
The most important reminder I gained from this mini challenge was that books are such a gift to this world. Books allow you to escape reality, even if just for a few chapters. If you are feeling particularly drained or notice a lack of motivation, I would highly recommend reading. Read anything you might like, there are so many genres out there. Drama, romance, mystery — the list goes on and on. Books are incredible.