The Rebuttal for Reading


Jordan Brillhart, Staff Writer

I know reading these days seems like something that people always deem people as “nerds” for doing. I can’t even lie for the longest time I was guilty of doing the same thing. Over this past summer, I began reading at the beach (My original intent was to look like the mysterious girl reading but that’s a story for another time). During my vacation, I found that reading was such a calming way to escape and honestly made me understand myself and others better. Over the remainder of last year, I began reading more and found myself making a New Year’s resolution to read more. I understand that so many people dismiss reading as an activity they could never enjoy, but I’m here to argue that reading recreationally has benefits and in the end is for everyone.

It’s sometimes hard to remember that not too long ago everyone was reading to stay ahead in AR. For those who didn’t attend an elementary school with this program, AR is an online program where students take tests on books they’ve read and ultimately get points. In Dover’s elementary schools, we got charms that were added to a necklace as well as a party at the end of the year if you got so many points. At the time, everyone wanted that party and the charms were absolutely darling. As we progressed through elementary school, middle school, and now high school, it seems as if fewer kids have said they enjoy reading for fun. I wanted to get the student aspects of this from seniors who are about to leave the comfort of their high school days and are the furthest away from elementary school days.

I began with the opinions of non readers and wanted to see why they felt this was such an unpleasant way to spend their time. After receiving the reasoning behind why non readers choose not to read, I enlisted two people who I know are avid readers. First is Dover City Schools’ librarian Mrs. McKee. The second is senior Grace Williams. I explained the non readers’ reasoning, and had the two rebuttal these ideas.

Here’s how it went:

Student: “I cannot concentrate long enough to read a book.”

  • Mrs. McKee: “Poetry and collections of short stories are both great ways to read short amounts without losing concentration.”
  • Grace: “Audiobooks are a great option, so you can multitask.”

Student: “I hate taking the time to find a good book.”

  • Mrs McKee: “I’m here for 1-4 periods and will help you decide on a book. I also recommend looking at book-Tok to find genres you like.”
  • Grace: “Goodreads is an app that can compare previous books you’ve read as well as recommending countless genres.”

Student: “Reading is not stimulating.”

  • Mrs McKee: “Annotations (don’t think of it like school) Find quotes that are meaningful and keep track of them.”
  • Grace: “There are so many genres but sometimes finding a good book can take a minute.”

Student: “Reading requires too much thinking.”

  • Mrs. McKee: “Your brain is always thinking in some way.”
  • Grace: “Sometimes intense books require a think break where you take a second and give your brain a break. There is no speed or level you have to read at.”

Student: “I’m too much of a visual person to read books”

  • Mrs McKee: “Graphic novels are a great option for visual people.”
  • Grace: “Try watching the movie rather than reading the book first, so visuals are already in your head.”

Student: “School ruined reading for me.”

  • Mrs. McKee: “It’s sad that kids connect school reading with recreational reading. From a young age students are graded and compared on their reading ability. It can leave a bad taste in the mouth of young readers. In some ways students’ view on reading is corrupted. People should look at reading as something special and as a form of self-care. Reading can allow students to escape from this crazy reality and vacation to somewhere new. Reading also teaches empathy by allowing readers to inside the thoughts and feelings of someone else.”
  • Grace: “There are so many genres and options to choose from beyond the required reading list. Try picking something up from the 21st century.”