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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 UTD chapter.

Reading has been a way of communication since the beginning of time. It has been a medium toconnect with others and intertwine communities through the art of storytelling. However, in recent years while innovative technologies and the latest AI-driven ways have been dominating almost every industry, reading for recreation has decreased as a process overall.

While reading can be for instructional purposes, it must also be to learn from differentexperiences and communities. Throughout history, knowing about other parts of humanity has healed people from various forms of mental illnesses and feelings of isolation. It has been a toolfor recreation and stories are the pathway to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of theworld. The consumption of stories allows us as readers and learners to ensure that we are in touch with history and it lets us see our own experiences from a different perspective.

Many conversations about reading and Literature today often tend to lead toward the genre ofself-help. Now, this is a great genre to consume text from; however, these books can onlydirectly instruct readers to follow a certain path or complete a certain task. It is not the same as consuming Literature that has been written to share a particular background.

Reading stories allows people to critically think and analyze text which further helps us interpretmeanings in our ways. The history behind a specific story speaks volumes concerning why astory is written. A writer always has a set intention or intentions when writing any piece, but forthat to be conveyed to the reader is a completely different thing. This intention is conveyed very directly in genres like self-help, it does not allow the reader to interpret anything.

Storytelling uses symbolism and many other literary devices that can also be references to aculture, which allows the reader to be completely sunk into a certain experience. History canonly say so much since it is nothing but mere fact, it takes away from the personal experience ofimpression. When reading a particular piece or even learning about any experience, we have ageneral list of impressions we create in our minds. We have opinions and guesses about what will happen next and this may come from personal experience or from what we have learned from others.

Consuming stories is just like learning about something from a friend or a loved one. While thiscan be fact not myth, it still allows us to learn about someone else on a very personal level and itallows us to feel more connected to another human experience. The connection one feels through learning about certain characters and joining them while they are navigating their journey builds intimacy between the reader and probably a very shared experience.

Indulging in the art of storytelling is the truest form of learning.

My name is Veera Gollapalli. I am a writer who mainly focuses on topics relating to the South Asian community, among many other social issues. I am a student at UT Dallas pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. I am a proud native Telugu speaker and strive to learn how to read and write Telugu better. I started writing a very long time ago and have loved it forever. It is the best medium to communicate anything through, as it can be the easiest to understand most times. I strive to bring together communities and make sure that the divisions the world has endured to date will be stopped. The future for me is filled with even more writing and film directing in Hollywood and Tollywood. Besides writing, I love traveling, cooking, singing, and making jewelry. I am very passionate about mental health, especially within the South Asian community. I am also deeply passionate about achieving equity amongst marginalized communities. I care very much about helping youth pursue the arts professionally and not be stuck in a cycle of a day job they do not enjoy.