Reading for fun is important, so sometimes I have to change what I’m reading

Emily Varker, Copy Editor

Like any good English major worth their sweater, I love reading. I’ve loved reading for basically as long as I can remember. My first memories surrounding reading involves a program called “Reading Revolution.” The only thing I can remember about this program is that there was a dog named Fletcher. The program clearly worked though, because here I am a lifelong reader! When I was little, my parents would sometimes have to punish me by taking away books instead of forcing me to read them. I was the cliché kid who brought her book everywhere and read it whether it was out on the playground or under my desk during a math lesson. I say all this to express just how much reading is a part of me. I have found so many friends in books and been able to imagine myself as a part of worlds so different from my own. This lent itself to a big creative boost when I was little, and it influenced my decision to study literature (hopefully professionally one day). 

Since I now study literature, I am surrounded by it. Much of my coursework revolves around reading and writing. However, sometimes I find myself burnt out from all the reading I need to do for class, and I just can’t bring myself to read what I want. This then leads me to feel like a fake book fan and feel even worse. I have a long TBR, but I can only get around to reading those books when I have a longer break. So, how do I keep my love for reading? I’ve found that, for me personally, it isn’t so much what I’m reading that’s important as much as the action of reading itself. In senior year of high school, my best friend told me about an online comic called “Lore Olympus.” I read it and was immediately hooked. Once I finished all the episodes released at the time of Lore Olympus, I started reading other comics on the app and was blown away by the stories I found. The app has everything from mysteries to contemporary romances to historical fiction. And that’s only scratching the surface. It has really helped me push the genre boundaries of what I would read and enjoy. The short, daily updates of a variety of different comics help me maintain my love and desire to read in a way that was conducive to my schedule and did not require me to dedicate a large chunk of time I did not have. I could still read books on weekends and especially on breaks, but this gave me an outlet for reading during the week. 

Over the quarantine, my reading consumption grew. Not only was I able to read more books, but I also subscribed to more webtoons. I was able to check out other forms of digital reading as well, ranging from fanfiction to visual novel apps. While my inner literature student screamed at the quality of what I was reading, I was still pleasantly surprised to find a good number of well-written stories online. Some stuff was better than others, but overall, it helped me and even got me back into writing a little bit myself. And I was able to find communities online that talked about similar books that I liked. Since I cannot read Jane Austen daily at this point in time, at least I can talk about her brilliance with other people online (and fangirl over Mr. Tilney from Northanger Abbey). In a time that was dark, I am glad that I found supportive groups of writers and fans online that helped me grow my love and appreciation for reading of all kinds.