Escaping through literature

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books are for nerds

This Doane student enjoys spending time reading a novel of her choosing rather than textbooks for class. 

Leisure reading, which is popular among students, has been overshadowed by technology and classwork.

Over the years, technology has become a large part of young people’s lives. With access to mobile games and social media at all hours of the day, people opt to stare at their phones instead of a book.

Technology created a shadow over reading along with the busy schedule of all college students. With assignments piling up and textbooks to read, it can be difficult for students to find time or motivation to sit down with a book for leisure.

Freshman Gilly Pearson, who is an English major, said she loves to read for fun.

“It is more difficult to find time to read for fun as I have a heavy load of required reading,” Pearson said.

Pearson’s top-two favorite books are “The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks and “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

A survey sent out to all Crete students at Doane University showed that over 53 percent of students enjoy reading for fun. Many students answered that they would enjoy it more if they had less of a busy schedule. Others said that they had better things to do.

Sophomore Ariel Ortiz did not always enjoy reading. Ortiz did not spend much time reading until middle school. A free trip and a day off of school was offered to any students who completed a specific set of readings.

Ortiz also enjoys reading on “WattPad”, a site that allows anyone to share their writing, and read the writing of others. Ortiz has shared her own writing on the site.

Ortiz’s favorite part of reading is “the escape from reality,” she said. “I am an introvert and an extrovert at my base. I like to recharge by myself and reading allows me to have that time for myself.”

Freshman Samuel Province said reading is one of his favorite things to do with his free time.

“It’s a way to distract myself without being in front of a screen for hours upon hours every day,” Province said.

Similar to most college students, Province has difficulty finding time to read for fun since beginning college. Reading, though, allows for a certain type of “escape” from stress for many people.

“Escapism to me means forgetting about the homework and stress of school to let myself be in another person's like for a while. It lets me forget about all my responsibilities and do something I enjoy,” Province said.

Despite limited time to read, students believe reading is beneficial. Reading a book can help reduce stress, teach life lessons or simply provide something to do.

“Reading teaches lessons in some cases, but in others, it’s just plain entertaining. Who doesn’t want to be entertained?” Pearson said. “I highly recommend carrying a good paperback with you at all times. I mean, just in case your phone dies.”