Assigned reading should cater to student’s interests

Aspen Towell, Staff Reporter

Reading can be a fun hobby or a boring homework assignment. Reading can be as enticing as watching a suspenseful T.V. series or as dull as reading legal documents. Reading is not naturally fun for a large number of people; however, it can be enjoyable if the person is reading their favorite book genre

Many English teachers decide to choose what AR books their students will be reading for a specific period of time. Along with the assigned book comes book notes, summaries and discussing the book. These activities are beneficial and lead to a better understanding of the book. However, the problem is not letting the students control what book they read. 

According to Health News, “The average teenager in America spends more than three hours on homework each school night, as of 2018.” This time spent doing homework does not include weekend homework which is assigned regularly to students. Students should have a fun outlet after a long day by reading a book they really enjoy, instead of dedicating this three hours to a book they aren’t committed to. 

AR reading is very important and teachers should assign reading to students because if not, many students would push reading aside to do other things. But the thing is, with busy lives, students normally only have time to read one book at a time. So if a teacher is assigning an AR book, students do not have time to read a book of their choice. 

According to the Washington Post, “Although, ideally, a fondness for books starts at home, reading can become a habit through opportunities to read self-chosen books at school.” Basically parents need to enforce reading to their kids at an early age so they can develop a love and understanding for reading. But, with busy lives the only way reading can be a truly fun hobby is if students can discover their favorite genre and choose what book they would like to read. 

According to one study, mental stimulation like reading can help protect memory and thinking skills, especially at an older age. The authors even suggest that reading every day can slow down the late-life cognitive decline. 

According to Psychology Today, “Interestingly, reading fiction was found to improve the reader’s ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and flex their imagination in a way that is similar to the visualization of a muscle memory in sports.” So, it doesn’t matter what book a student chooses because fantasy and fiction improve brain functions. 

My favorite genre is fantasy. I love the “Harry Potter,” “Percy Jackson” and “Land of Stories” series. It’s like entering a different world, almost like being transported. It’s amazing how awesome it feels to find the perfect book or book series. I find it difficult to read non-fiction, sometimes reading non-fiction is seriously dull. 

Harry Potter started my love for reading and I discovered my favorite book genre. Every student should have the chance to read whatever they want as long as they are completing notes, and discussing the book. Students still increase their knowledge by reading any genre.

Some teachers assign a book genre for students to read, but let them choose whatever book they want from that genre. This is an effective solution because not only does it ensure students have variety in book genres, but also it gives students the control to pick a book that fits what they enjoy reading about. 

Teachers should not assign additional AR reading books. By letting students choose one AR book and not adding other books on top of that students can enjoy reading more. Research shows they will continue this hobby throughout their lifetime.