on the benefits of assigned reading.

Last Thursday I wrote a post explaining how I feel about assigned reading. I wasn’t sure if a discussion would actually develop in the comments section, but to my delight many of you responded! You guys are the best!

A lot of people said that they agreed with my rather negative opinion on assigned reading, but some people disagreed. These readers offered several valid arguments as to why assigned reading can be a good thing, and I thought I would take the time to share a few of them with you.

It broadens your reading horizons.

Often times the books we’re assigned to read are ones we wouldn’t necessarily have picked up on our own. Whether you end up enjoying the book or not, it is always good to be exposed to new ideas, writing styles, authors, and genres.

Class discussions can be fun, engaging, and really helpful.

The only way to discuss a book with others effectively is if you’ve all read the same thing. This comes in handy when you don’t quite understand the novel because you can talk about it with your classmates and figure things out. It can also be a lot of fun!

Misery loves company.

Not that reading is misery (although it might be depending on the book, haha) but sometimes it can be rather… dull. With assigned reading, there are most likely many other people reading the same book alongside you. That’s way better than having to do it all on your own!

Thanks to all you optimistic people for helping me see the good in assigned reading! To keep this awesome conversation going, I have another question for you all today:

If you were a teacher, what types of books would you assign? (Classics? Modern literature? YA? Free choice? Others?)

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Yours,

HOLLY

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on assigned reading.

It’s inevitable: if you’re a student in any sort of literature class, you’re going to be assigned something to read eventually. As someone who loves to read, you wouldn’t think I would mind this. But for some reason whenever a book is assigned to me it instantly becomes less appealing.

This frustrates me to no end.

Even if I was looking forward to reading a book beforehand, if it is assigned to me I will immediately lose some of my interest in it. I often regain it once I get through a good portion of it, but until that point it’s like trudging through sludge- really difficult and just plain unpleasant.

Maybe it’s my inner rebel finally showing its true colors. Or perhaps its simply the fact that I automatically associate homework as something terrible.

Does anyone else struggle with this? I’d love to know that I’m not alone!

Yours,

HOLLY

how to read more during the school year.

Let’s face it: once school comes around- be it university, high school, or any other form of education- our priorities tend to change. As the assignments pour in and the work piles up, it can be challenging to find time to simply sit down and read for fun. Here are some tips that I find work for me once classes are back in session:

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Choose books you really want to read.

If you’re not looking forward to reading a certain book, you’ll be a lot less likely to find time to pick it up. This is not the time to read those books on your TBR you don’t have a lot of interest in anymore. Go and read those books you’ve been dying to read!

Read before bed.

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s true: reading before bed is awesome. If you’re tired enough to begin with then it will help you fall asleep, and it’s a great, quiet time to unwind and focus on the world inside the novel. Even just ten minutes before bed is better than not reading at all!

Find a reading buddy.

Reading a book with someone else will make you more apt to find more time to read. Or start a reading group or book club- the more the merrier! Not only will it be more fun, but you’ll get more out of the story because you’ll be discussing it with other people.

Listen to audiobooks.

Often times we don’t read because we can’t physically hold a book in our hands. You might not be able to walk and read a physical book at the same time, but you can certainly walk and listen to an audiobook! Download one onto your phone or other device to listen to while you’re walking to class, waiting in line, jogging- anytime!

Read during the cracks in your schedule.

Everyone is busy, but there are always those little slivers of daylight during which nothing is really going on. Sitting in your desk waiting for class to begin. Waiting for your friends to get to your table in the cafeteria during lunch. Trying to pass the time while so-and-so is meeting with a teacher after school. Any time you’re waiting for something is the perfect time to read- just be sure to always carry a book with you!

And there you have it! I hope these tips are helpful! What advice do you have for reading more during the school year? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

back-to-school books.

tumblr_m7os6o9Iwi1qm5bjko2_500It’s September, and you all know what that means: back-to-school season has arrived!

The excitement of going back to school does not last forever, though. I’ve only been back for around two weeks and I’m already feeling the monotony of routine take over. If you’re bored like my friend Sherlock there (and yes, he is my friend) then you should check out some of these books that remind me of this time of year. For some reason I always associate these books with going back to school- maybe it’s just me, or maybe there’s some logic to it. I’ll let you decide!

perks coverThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Everything about this book makes me think of going back to school- the story itself, the movie, and even the soundtrack. It’s such a great coming-of-age story that I just can’t help but love it.

 

 

will grayson, will grayson coverWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

This novel follows the adventures of an eclectic group of friends who experience so many unlikely coincidences that you start to wonder if it’s actually meant to be. And, of course, a lot of it takes place during school.

 

 

crunch time coverCrunch Time by Mariah Fredericks.

Crazy stuff happens when these four teens take the SAT for the first time- and someone is accused of cheating! This one is sure to remind you of your test-taking days.

 

 

paper covers rock coverPaper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard.

You all know how much I love a good boarding school book- and that’s exactly what this novel is! A bittersweet mixture of tragedy and hope, this story is seeping with school-days nostalgia.

 

 

the raven boysThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

For some strange reason, I always think of school when I think of this book. Regardless, I definitely recommend it!

 

 

I hope you enjoy these recommendations! With any luck they’ll keep the back-to-school blues at bay for at least a little while longer!

What books remind you of school? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY