Books have always been my loyal companions. Whenever I felt alone, or needed someone to talk to, I could always count on them. They never judge, and they’re always there for me.
Growing up, books were my best friends. I would spend hours upon hours reading, and I loved every minute of it. My education was very important to me, and books played a big role in that. Through books, I was able to learn about different cultures, histories, and concepts that I otherwise would not have been exposed to.
As a student, I often found myself feeling lonely and isolated. But whenever I opened up a book, I felt like I was part of something larger. I wasn’t alone anymore. I was part of a community of readers, and that made all the difference.
As a kid, I was always led to believe that reading would be an important component of my education throughout all of my schooling, and that it would only become more difficult as I got older. I never really understood why Shakespeare’s works were so vital to my education, but I was constantly informed they were so that I would not question it.
However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to realize the value in not just reading the classics but any book that can teach me something new.
There is a quote by Richard Davey that says, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” This has always resonated with me because it’s so true. If we only ever read one book, we’re missing out on so much knowledge and understanding of the world. But if we take the time to read multiple books, from different genres and perspectives, we can start to get a well-rounded view of the world we live in.
One of my favorite things to do is go to used bookstores and find hidden gems that I never would have picked up otherwise. It’s so satisfying to find a book that looks interesting and then to get lost in its pages. I always feel like I’ve accomplished something when I finish a book, no matter how long or short it is.
Reading is one of the best ways to learn new things and to gain different perspectives. It’s a way to escape from reality and to explore different worlds. So, next time you’re feeling lonely, pick up a good book and lose yourself in its pages. You’ll be surprised at how good company books can be.
In The Lonely, Good Company of Books, I fully agree with Rodriguez on his contention that young students’ education and reading lists of books are disconnected. A student’s education is much more than simply reading novels over the course of their schooling years. It’s clear from personal experience as well as Rodriguez’s claims, as well as basic facts, that reading isn’t nearly as essential as it’s made out to be in young student’s lives.
It’s not that books are unimportant, but the idea that one must read in order to get an education is flawed.
Reading can be seen as a luxury and not a necessity when taking into perspective how much time it requires along with other important aspects of life. For example, time spent reading could be used for working part-time jobs, hanging out with friends or family, or sleeping; all things that are important for students.
In “The Lonely, Good Company of Books”, Rodriguez argues that required reading lists often do more harm than good because they push students away from literature (“The Lonely, Good Company of Books” 6). I agree with this claim because I have had experiences where I was assigned a book to read that I had no interest in whatsoever. This led to me losing focus while reading and not getting anything out of the book because I didn’t want to be reading it in the first place.
From high school to college, many students are unable to find the time to read for fun because of the increasing workloads. Also, a lot of young adults are not interested in reading because they find it boring. In a study done by Alan Sillitoe, he found that working-class people are less likely than middle-class people to read for pleasure (“The Lonely, Good Company of Books” 7). This is likely because working-class people have more obligations outside of school such as work or taking care of family.
Overall, I believe that books are a great source of knowledge and provide numerous benefits. However, the claim that one must read in order to get an education is flawed. There are many other important aspects of life that take up time that could be spent reading. In addition, required reading lists often do more harm than good because they push students away from literature. It is clear that reading is not as crucial as it’s made out to be in young student’s lives.
Rodriguez stated that despite the fact that he read considerably more, he remained emotionally detached from the books he read. It is difficult as a student to relate to novels that typically have nothing to do with one’s life. Despite the fact that this is true for many pupils’ instructors still encourage reading since they feel over time one’s perspective will alter.
“One of the things that education does is that it helps to socialize us. It helps to get us ready for society, for the world of work. And one of the things that you learn in school is how to read” (Rodriguez, 82). In other words, they hope that students will not only be able to read but also comprehend and appreciate what they are reading. However, this is not always the case, especially when the books assigned have no connection whatsoever to the students.
When high school English teachers were asked about why they teach literature, most said something along the lines of “to help students learn how to think critically” or “to develop empathy” (Marino 1).
However, a study done by the National Endowment for the Arts showed that “reading rates have been declining among all groups, but the biggest drop has been among young adults” (Marino 1). The study also showed that only 50% of Americans aged 18-24 read literature and only 4 out of 10 said they had read any work of fiction in the past year (Marino 1). With those statistics, it is no wonder why some students feel so disconnected from what they are reading.
There are various reasons as to why students might not enjoy or feel connected to the books they are reading in school. For example, many times the books assigned are outdated and do not address current issues. In addition, some novels can be very dense and difficult to understand, especially if English is not a student’s first language. Lastly, many students simply do not have the time to read outside of school because they are too busy with homework and extracurricular activities.
Despite all of these obstacles, there are still some students who find joy in reading. For them, reading is an escape from the everyday stresses of life. It allows them to explore new worlds and experience things that they otherwise would not be able to. These students are often able to connect with the characters in the books and feel as though they are going through the same experiences.