The Positive Effect Reading Has on Teens

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To some teenagers, reading is just a boring subject that they’re forced to take in school. They also may think that it’s a waste of time or they feel they have better or more interesting things to do. When I talked to a few teens they shared with me their perception about kids who read. They made negative and positive remarks but they were overall stereotypical.

I spoke with two teens, the first named Chloe, and the second named Josh. Chloe was a self proclaimed “Emo” who enjoyed punk music, body piercings, and transforming her appearance in a way that some parents wouldn’t agree with. Josh on the other hand was what other kids would describe as a “Geek or Nerd”. His interests included being in the math club, and he had a love for chess. Now in the teen world one would think that Josh would be drawn to reading and Chloe would have no interest whatsoever, but it was the other way around. Chloe spent a lot of time reading, she enjoyed (as she said) “getting lost in someone else’s life”.

When I asked Chloe what type of books she enjoyed reading she said she enjoyed all kinds but mostly fiction. She’s currently reading two books; “Twilight”, written by Stephenie Meyer, and “The House of Dark Shadows, written by Robert Liparulo. She said she’s enjoying these two books so much that she can’t put them down and she’s reading them simultaneously. She said while reading, she feels as if she’s in the story; like she’s watching a movie, and she’s able to feel what the characters in the book may feel. She said that she enjoys reading because it is like an escape from what goes on in her world. She would much rather read a book than play a video game or watch television.

When I spoke with Josh, his opinion of reading was the opposite of Chloe’s. He said that reading was boring and he would much rather play a video game or watch a movie. I asked him why that was and he said that watching a movie doesn’t take as long as reading a book. He said that he just didn’t feel the point of reading when he could do other things to keep him self occupied and entertained.

I believe that if kids read more they would benefit in years to come. My goal in writing this article was to show the stereotypes that people put on teens that read; and also to see if I could encourage them to read more. Their imaginations can run wild through literature and there is nothing like curling up with a good book.


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