The Merits of Recreational Reading

By Samuel Sprague
Public Policy Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Woman reading books in a library

From a young age, I fell into a trend that I think many can find relatable. I committed to reading as little as possible. When I was required to pick out a book, I would wander through my elementary school library until I found something with a low enough page count and short enough title that I could get away with skimming. On rare occasion, I read a book for myself, but this was a pattern I followed until high school.

After being assigned a reading of Plato’s cave allegory and I felt compelled to buy Plato’s Republic. I failed to make it halfway through, but I had a deeper interest in philosophy from that point forward. I would dive into reading discussions and read analyses of assigned material until I could either fall in love with the piece or identify where it lost appeal. While attending Grand Canyon University, I have checked out and recommended countless books from the university library.

Recreational reading often helped deepen my understanding of what I learned in the classroom and kept my education alive after I left school grounds. This a habit that can enrich academic and personal life.

There are countless reasons to read beyond the requirements of a school curriculum, but below are some of the most compelling.

Good Writing

Good reading leads to good writing. Students who can immerse themselves into subjects or literature they enjoy pay more attention to it. In assigned readings, students can often suffer from eyestrain and burnout when reading long or dry texts, making analysis of the text and attention to detail more effort than reward. Reading for personal interests can leave you with a sharper eye for critique. This in itself can make assigned readings more engaging.

Academic Confidence

Being able to gain a deeper understanding of a subject on your own time can help make it feel less regimented and limited. Developing comprehension of a subject beyond what the curriculum requires can help bolster confidence in presentations, essays and group discussion.

Independence and Passion

Pursuing recreational reading might include academic reading, but it is just building up a habit of reading for your own benefit rather than powering through assigned readings for a grade. The ability to define your interests and the willingness to pursue them are essential in forming a sense of purpose and drive.

I hope that after reading this post you feel compelled to look into some recommended reading or for more resources about whatever you struggle with in the classroom.

Grand Canyon University provides a wide set of curriculum across a diverse group of colleges. Learn more about the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and the enriching programs they offer by visiting the website or clicking the Request More Info button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

Scroll back to top