Baylor should take a chance on Libby

By Pinto Lokesh | Contributor

Remember how exciting it was to lay your hands on a new book? Remember the anticipation you felt at the idea of diving in a new world, containing cool things such as wizards, mermaids and dolphins?

Probably not. Now the sight of a book reminds you of homework, essays and all the projects that needs to be done to keep your GPA afloat. Books stress you out. Wouldn’t you like to actually enjoy reading for a change? What would it look like to have the world of literature at your fingertips?

Libby makes this dream a possibility. Libby is an app created by Overdrive that connects to your local library. All you do is download the app, type in the name of your library and press in your library card number. Voila. You are connected to an entire free e-library. While waiting in line for coffee, someone can easily read four to five minutes on the app.

Nowadays many college students do not associate books with enjoyment, but with work. Students do not have the time to read the books they like for fun. Libby can help students stack up on reading points since students always have their phones with them.

This is tragic in the sense that many of us do not wish to read for pleasure at the end of the day, but instead focus on mind-numbing activities such as watching Netflix, watching YouTube and surfing social media.

The need to read is deteriorating, which is not good for any of us. We are in an high-pressure educational environment where we are required to keep our brains sharp. The only way to do that is to read. Reading is how we learn about the world around us and acquire the information to solve problems in our lives. If we do not take the time to read the things we like then we will never be genuinely interested in reading and building our comprehensive learning skills.

“Any reading is good,” said Dr. Maura Jortner, an English professor at Baylor. “Any kind of pleasure reading that [students] are doing, even if it’s reading a graphic novel is great because it’s getting us in touch with characters and literary conventions, and it’s going to help us.”

Even though we are at a stage in our life where we should read more, we do not due to us finding ways to shut down our brains and run away from stress. Logging on to Netflix and searching up funny Instagram stories will not make our lives any less hectic.

If we are going to use iPhones and computers constantly, then why don’t we use it for reading which we know can help by giving us insight from others’ perspectives on the world around us and knowledge. Of course, most good reading apps cost money and college students cannot afford to buy them when there are other priorities they have to take care of in their daily lives.

Not all libraries pay to have the Libby program to hold their selection of e-books. So, in turn, not all Baylor University students have access to a e-library from their hometown. Which is why Baylor should get actively involved and start a selection of e-books that are meant to be read for gratification, not work or research.

As a university that is highly-acclaimed for its education program, Baylor should encourage students to read what they they are interested in – whether it be mystery, romance, horror or young adult literature. Textbooks are not the only material that matters. We should be challenged to grow into better scholars by delving into other books. We should gain the benefits of reading by using Libby.

Pinto is a freshman biochemistry major from League City.