You can tell what time of the semester it is by observing the busyness of the library. Students sit slouched over books, their glazed eyes straining to concentrate on and somehow absorb the material staring blandly up into their faces. Coffee fuels the student too drowsy to focus without caffeine.
Do you remember the last time you read a book for pure enjoyment? If you’re like the majority of students, then probably not.
For most of us, to read is to do homework—a sad fact of college life. We The Threefold Advocate want to encourage you that it may not always be so.
Remember the days when your parents read you “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”? Or the first time you opened “Harry Potter” to decide for yourself whether the series belonged in heaven or in hell? Or the time last summer when you stayed up all night reading The “Hunger Games,” and then did the same thing the following night, only this time with “Catching Fire”? That was all reading, too.
College is about learning. And yes, much of that learning occurs by absorbing the information found in books. But when we grow to so heavily rely on books for knowledge rather than for enjoyment, we are in danger of losing one of life’s pleasures: the ability to escape our worries for a short while within a book’s pages and thereafter return to our day-to-day activities with renewed perspectives.
In many ways, analyzing a book resembles analyzing a movie. Although you can analyze “Thor” all you want, the movie is still designed to entertain. In the same way, Alan Paton’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” and Augustine’s “Confessions” were not written solely for the purpose of being critiqued.
Don’t allow college to destroy your ability to enjoy the process of reading a book.
One of these days, perhaps over Thanksgiving Break, pick up a book and read for pleasure. Allow the work to draw you in and hold you hostage. Don’t analyze the content. Don’t view the process as a project or assignment. Just read, and enjoy.