Reading for fun may seem like an oxymoron for some, but one study claims that a surprisingly large amount of students actually view reading as an unattainable luxury.
Concerned that leisure reading was becoming a nonexistent activity among youth, librarians Barbara Fister and Julie Gilbert recently conducted a survey at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.
According to the study, 93 percent of 717 student participants said they enjoy reading for pleasure, but find it difficult to set aside time to do so with their demanding school and work schedules.
“I really liked to read when I was younger and even in high school, but now I’m so busy that I never get the time to read anything but textbooks and required material, which is sometimes OK but is still not for fun,” Cal State Long Beach freshman Amy Johnson said.
Johnson said it was still hard to make time to read during the winter break, between balancing the holidays with family and work schedules.
However, when Johnson does find some free time, she said she tries to find books to read.
“I like to look for classics because I know they’re going to be good, like ‘Heart of Darkness’ or ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,'” Johnson said. “I really like ‘Lord of the Flies’ — books with slightly demented themes.”
Jessie Rellosa, a sophomore nursing major, said he loves to read everything, whether it be romance, fantasy, fiction or nonfiction novels — or even textbooks — but the author he likes to read the most is Stephen King.
“Even though I always have so much to study, I try my best to read leisurely on the weekends,” Rellosa said.
Rellosa also volunteers many hours at a hospice near his local city of Bellflower, where he acts as a companion to the patients, often by reading to them.
“Reading is my thing,” he said. “I definitely wish I had more time to set aside for it.”
For students looking for books, one-fourth of the first level of the University Bookstore is dedicated to leisure reading.
According to the study, leisure reading is beneficial to students’ academic success.
In the study, Fister and Gilbert said, “Reading for pleasure has been associated with creativity and with improved academic achievement.”