Library Advisory Club promotes reading for pleasure


Abigail Poag

Posters and books on display encourage students to read during the day.

Abigail Poag, Staff Writer

Between homework, friends and extracurriculars, Gabrielle Solymosy has little time to read for pleasure. Once an avid reader, the freshman had to put her reading on hold because of the demands of high school life.

Currently, I have a magazine in my backpack that I’ve been really wanting to read, but I have an essay, a test and a project proposal,” Solymosy said.

While many people assume high school students would rather browse the internet than sit down and read, students across campus continue to devour books — even if finding a spare moment proves difficult. Leaders of the Library Advisory Club, seniors Matthew Mercado and Sean Paul Gras, spend hours discussing series like Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn” trilogy.

“It’s like how people talk about movie theories,” Mercado said. “We talk about it with books, and we can talk forever.”

Other students read books to escape the stresses of everyday life.

According to Solymosy, when you’re reading, “you don’t have to worry about yourself in the moment. It’s a lot easier to read about other people going through something than to actual experience it yourself.”

Love of reading has, for some students, been replaced by TV shows and movies.

“During free periods and study halls, instead of being able to pull out a book and read, you can pull out your computer and watch Netflix,” Mercado said. “I know people who say, ‘Oh, I haven’t read a book since sixth grade.’”

In an environment where students already feel overworked, some students consider reading too time-consuming.

“TV shows just do the work for you, and you don’t have to use your imagination,” senior Michael Meaux said. “People get lazy, and [reading] requires more focus.”

If students have had poor experiences with assigned reading, they may be reluctant to read other books outside the classroom.

“Even if I were reading a really good book, if I were forced to read that book at a certain pace for a certain class, like 25 pages every day, it would be really annoying,” Gras said.

Alternatively, students may find that the books they read in class will resonate and lead to meaningful discussion, both in and out of class.

“Sometimes when you’re assigned a book to read, it gives the class something that unifies you,” assistant librarian Suzanne Webb said. “You’ve all had the same experience with a book that you can then go talk about and dissect.”

The Library Advisory Club helps decorate the library throughout the year to bring attention to different books. In October, the club created a Halloween-themed display by pulling out the library’s collection of horror books in order to draw people inside.

“We want people to go into the library, notice the decorations, and then be like, “Oh, hey, I wonder what this book is over here,’” Gras said.

In addition to the wide range of titles available, students can also request books the school does not currently own.

While many students have fallen out of the reading habit, the library has many options for those who wish to rekindle their love of literature.

“Start with something that you love,” Webb said. “If you love science or you love video games, try to find something that’s a quick read for you, just to get back into the habit. Try to set aside a few minutes every night just to read.”