School Makes Reading Less Enjoyable

Staff Reporter Anthony Mondelli has a problem with required summer reading. He argues that more student choice would help.

Whether it was bedtime stories with parents or just a random book with a cover that grabbed our attention, reading has been a part of students’ lives for a long time.

Then school began, and reading turned into a chore.

Instead of taking the time to enjoy a book, we spend time stressing about the work that goes along with it. For instance, starting in middle school, we had required summer reading projects which didn’t include books students wanted to read. 

“School keeps students from exploring the subjects they may relate to, or would actually like to read, due to limited categories on summer reading,” junior Jenna McCauley said.

No one wants to read a book they don’t find interesting, and sometimes students have to read not just one but two books for one assignment–neither of which they get to choose.

When books are assigned, it creates a wall between the love of reading and homework.

“I feel school makes kids not want to read because the books that are chosen for us are boring,” junior Zoe Scholl said. “But I feel that having a library promotes reading because students get to pick their own books.” 

Something else that contributes to students not wanting to read is the long and uncomfortable Socratic seminars in which we must partake [in English class]. Many students don’t like speaking in front of a crowd, and by being graded on it, it makes us nervous and more unlikely to enjoy the book.

“I don’t think they’re very fair for [shy] people like me,” sophomore Bristol Vickers said. “For a lot of the shy kids who don’t say anything, their grades drop because of it.”

When we read a book, we want to take our time and enjoy every aspect of it, but when we are given loads of homework to do alongside it, it deters us from reading.

Reading may become popular again if we aren’t forced to read uninteresting books, and if we are able to pick them ourselves. Teachers should care more that we enjoy reading rather than just grading us for it.