Reading for yourself or for school?


I’m sure everyone has been faced with this dilemma. You know you need to take the time out of your busy schedule to read the books that have been assigned for the classes you’re currently taking. But do you find that reading time enjoyable? It could be a book that is popular; I do know of a class that discusses literature of today and why some of it is taking over the industry, both with the books and the movies. Hunger Games, for example, was on a reading list for a class I was looking at. I enjoyed reading the book on my own time, but would I have enjoyed it just as much having to read it for school? I don’t know that I would have. There’s always that difference of reading because you want to and reading because you have to.

However, it could be the book you have to read that makes all the difference. I have had to read Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko- it wasn’t a good time. I was rereading and rereading passages to no avail. I finally purchased the audio book and it helped significantly. Would I have been happier reading it on my own? I would have never finished the book. That is something that can be said about having to read it for school is the necessity in finishing it. I will always remember the story because of the work I had to put in on it, so I am thankful in that regard. It just wasn’t an easy process to get there.

Another book I’m sure everyone has had to read is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The first couple of times I read it for school, I was severely uninterested. This past time around, I used the audio book and reading it together and it was so much more fun. Now I could really see why the book has been so popular throughout the years.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is another book that I read in my high school class that I absolutely fell in love with. The teacher would have us read a few chapters, and then would play the coordinating part in the TV mini series with Colin Firth. I don’t know that I could have ever fallen so much in love with another book. I did recently pick up Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield, a modern adaptation of the beloved book, so I am very excited to start reading that.

I have listed a few examples of when reading a book for class ended up becoming enjoyable. But when really thinking about it, those few books covered so much span of time as opposed to reading for enjoyment. I’ll stay up all night reading a book I can’t get my nose out of. I have finished a few books within a week because of how much fun they were to read. This is never the case with a book I read for school. While I may enjoy it, it is a long, dragged-out process of finishing the book for school. So the levels of enjoyment definitely differ.

Are there any books you had to read for school that you ended up enjoying? Or did it temporarily ruin the experience for you? It took a couple of years before I had started reading for enjoyment again because of how much reading i had to do with previous classes.

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