Turn the page: Get back into reading this summer

By Erika Kuehl | Staff Writer

“Put that book down.”

Said nobody ever.

However, I would argue that most college students have been told to put their phones down at one point or another. Although I don’t always agree with my parents, this command has some merit. Instead of wasting our summer playing video games or watching TikTok, let’s pick up a book and sit outside.

Do you want to live longer? Read a book. Scientists conducted a study on whether readers have a survival advantage over non-readers. They found that readers have a 20% mortality reduction.

Although we aren’t required to read much anymore, do you remember how smart you felt when you could figure out what a word meant without looking it up? Most of us probably haven’t felt that sharp in a minute. The School Library Association looked at vocabulary development up to the age of 16 and then addressed the growth between the ages of 16 and 42.

“At age 16, the average vocabulary test score was 55%. By age 42, study members scored an average of 63% on the same test.”

This research shows that despite rapid growth in adolescent vocabulary, there is still a gradual increase post-childhood. Whether you’re an engineering major or pre-med, knowing how to conduct yourself in a conversation is an important skill.

Generation Z has the attention span of a fruit fly. And no wonder we do. We have media flooding our system at all times of the day. The scrolling, flashing lights and influx of funny dog videos aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re rotting our brains.

It can be hard to get back into reading. Instead of picking up something as ambitious as “The Odyssey,” here are some light reads to ease you into it:

“Catcher in the Rye”

A great place to start is with a classic. “Catcher in the Rye” is the perfect coming-of-age story following Holden Caulfield, a rebellious teenage boy. Holden learns what it means to navigate life and begins seeing the world for what it truly is.

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold”

If you’re looking for something shorter and more whimsical, “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” tells the story of a cafe in Tokyo that lets its customers travel back in time — at least, before their coffee gets cold.

“Gone Girl”

If you’ve seen the movie “Gone Girl,” you’ll be blown away by the book. With mystery and suspense, uncover who truly is the villain. You’ll get it wrong the first time.

“Ender’s Game”

Travel to another time with “Ender’s Game.” The story follows a young boy named Ender Wiggins who gets sent to a school for gifted children where he uses his genius abilities to fight off aliens. This is a book any Sci-Fi lover can finish in one sitting.

“The Midnight Library”

Sorry to all of the smut readers, but I morally cannot include any of Colleen Hoover’s books. However, “The Midnight Library” is about as non-cheesy as it can get when it comes to romance novels. Nora Seed encounters a library containing books that transport her to different realities. Will she stay in hers or choose to follow a new path?