Books and different pieces of literature have been around for centuries in this ever expanding world of ours.

As the years go by, we adopt new pieces of technology and leave old traditions behind with the intention of making life much easier to live.

In the age of the world wide web, it seems that social media has become a necessity for most in the developed world and as we grow older, the value of reading for fun decreases significantly.

You do get the odd office worker reading a novel on the tube during rush hour however, some just don’t have the time read unless it’s work-related.

Every time I see someone reading there’s a feeling of regret of why I didn’t choose to read more when I was still in school.

Of course, whenever there was a reading task in English I would do it but in terms of sitting down and enjoying a novel, I just didn’t spend time that wisely.

I was a late bloomer (like really late) when it came to enjoying novels and appreciating literature. At age 16, I discovered my first favourite book – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Even though it was a part of my English Literature module in AS, something really made me click with this 200-year-old book.

From there I took a huge interest in the Horror & Science Fiction Genres, eventually turning an interest into a passion as I studied creative writing in university.

Before the age of 16, my reading and writing skills were very poor. Poor to the point that it was the fuel to my anxiety in high school.

Many thought that I was just very slow and being an introvert wasn’t helping either.

Looking back at the situation now I made a link to what I did (or didn’t) do in the past which resulted in this.

I never read recreationally.

In primary school reading was and still is a compulsory task with a little yellow logbook to keep track of our progress on a novel.

I hated reading back then. School nights were spent staring at pages blankly for an hour before telling my mum to sign off the logbook for the day. Whenever the logbook wasn’t filled out, teachers would give you the hairdryer treatment in front of the whole class.

That completely put me off reading until the latter stages of further education. Growing up in the late 90s/ early 2000s meant that video games took up a large portion of my free time.

Sure, some say video games have its advantages to the human mind, however according to research findings, recreational reading makes an improvement to concentration, communication and helps us adapt to new surroundings.

It may seem so simple but its the most effective. Put your controller down and read for a change.

Not only has it helped me in every aspect of my life, but it helps millions of other people.

Reading recreationally turned my weaknesses into my biggest strength.

Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash

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