by Izzy Pilot ’18
From book fairs to summer reading contests to the infamous “Read” posters in school libraries, we’ve been encouraged to read for fun since Kindergarten. But between intense course loads, lots of extracurriculars, and distracting electronics, fewer and fewer teenagers are reading in their free time. Many students don’t even read the assigned books for their English classes–thanks to resources like Sparknotes and Shmoop, its becoming easy to simply read a chapter summary instead of the chapter itself. However, in a society where seemingly nobody has the time or energy to pick up a book anymore, a few students still find pleasure in literature.
While her peers have difficulty putting down their cell phones, senior Miranda Cundick has trouble parting with her novels. In fact, she’s even been asked by teachers to put her books away during class. “I’d say I spend about an hour a day reading on average, but it goes up when I’m reading something new because I can’t stop until I’m finished,” said Cundick. From the time I was very young I was reading classic literature and improving my own vocabulary. The complex language I was introduced to in those books helped exercise my mind and it helped me in other areas besides English.”
And while many teens would argue that they simply don’t have the time to read, Cundick is an example of how reading can be added to an already busy schedule. In addition to this hobby, she runs cross country and performs in Chamber Choir and Rock ‘n Roll Revival.
Another reason given for not reading is that it’s too boring, but Cundick points to the wide range of genres available and switches between classics and more contemporary works to keep things interesting. “I am a major fan of fantasy novels, and for me reading is a major way to escape from the stresses of daily life,” she said. Some of her favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, a fantasy novelist, Jane Austen, a 19th century novelist known for classics such as Pride and Prejudice, and J. R. R. Tolkien, the man behind The Lord of The Rings.
In an era where reading for leisure seems to be getting replaced by binge watching Netflix or playing video games, Cundick is a reminder that literature enthusiasts are still out there.