Making Reading Fun Again


Mary Grace Lindholm, Writer-East

Remember as a kid reading The Giving Tree  or A Series of Unfortunate Events or Percy Jackson or even The Magic Tree House? When did that fascination with reading stop?

It’s no surprise that the number of teenagers who read regularly is less than the 1970s or 80s, but it is still a shocking statistic. According to the American Psychological Association, 1 in every 3 teenagers hasn’t read for fun in at least a year.

This may not phase some people, but not reading can have effects on the brain’s abilities and on mental health. Reading improves obvious skills like comprehension, vocabulary, and general knowledge, but it also is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and learn new ideas. “I like to read because I can explore new things,” says Josie Mccormick, a sophomore at Elkhart-East.

Keeping brain function high through reading doesn’t just benefit young people; it also prevents cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. A study showed that those who didn’t read regularly across their lifespan experienced mental decline 48 percent faster than those who did read.

All of these statistics may seem overwhelming, but there is an easy solution. Reading doesn’t have to include huge books; it could be magazines, articles, short stories, or anything that has something to learn from.

Gaining knowledge, mental health, and important skills doesn’t have to be a chore–the only task is to find something that makes reading enjoyable again.