I think we can all agree that reading for fun has declined in popularity over the years. I believe this may be partly due to the widely-held opinion that those who read for fun are “antisocial.”
This irks me a little. I find it really annoying how the general populace believes that those who read for fun do not have any lives. I read for fun. However, I am also an International Baccalaureate student, a coach for a local running program, an avid watcher of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, and an involved friend. I have several interests outside the world of reading and overall, I would call myself a fairly busy and social person.
Just because I read for fun does not mean I have never had a boyfriend, or a job, or a social life. I simply read because I enjoy it. It helps my writing and critical thinking skills, and also serves as an escape, just like music, movies, or television.
According to the New York Times, reading literary fiction can actually help boost social skills. During an experiment conducted by the students at New York’s New School for Social Research, those who read literary fiction performed better on tests measuring emotional intelligence and social perception than those who did not read often. In other words, reading can actually make you more social.
Now, I am definitely not saying you have to read 24/7 and never see the light of day. I am saying that as teenagers, we all need to try new things and find our places in the world, and reading can help you with that. It’s all about balance.
Have you ever been labeled as antisocial because you read for fun? What’s your opinion on this? Sound off in the comments!
-Amanda D., 11th grade