The Downfalls of Mandatory Reading in School

If you are currently a student in high school or if you have already graduated high school, you know all about mandatory reading. You know that in your English class there will come a time or two where you must pick a book to read. Sometimes you aren’t even allowed to choose what you read, you are just given a novel and told to read and answer questions about it.

There is a reason why when the topic of reading is brought up there is so much negativity and complaints surrounding the subject. If I mention that reading is a hobby of mine, I get so many stares with the same expression: “why?”.

It is my belief that our education system has unfortunately ruined the reading experience for many. This is because books were shoved down our throats in the classroom. When we are given pages of assigned reading as homework, students begin to see reading as a chore. This especially happens when students are given books that they have no interest in, because then the novel you find boring is taking you away from other tasks you might have, such as extra curricular activities and work.

I am not saying that reading novels is something that shouldn’t be mandatory in schools. What I am saying though is there is a lot of importance in finding books that students actually enjoy. Book clubs in schools have begun to do this, where you have an array of novels to choose from. However, a lot of these novels are outdated and have been present in a school’s book club for many years. I think that schools should modernize the list of books that students can choose from during book club so that there is more of an interest in reading.

Our education system has also created this image that reading must look like a giant one-thousand page novel with complex topics and themes. This does not have to be your reading style in the slightest. I do love a large book, but at the same time I like small books that are an easy read and have a fast paced plot.

What many don’t realize about novels is there are tons of different genres to read. Schools only introduce a few of those select genres. Commonly in school book clubs we see classic literature, contemporary fiction, and science fiction novels. These are not the only novel genres out there though. You can read fantasy, thrillers, crime, romance, or horror books. Whatever your interest is, there will be a book on that topic out there somewhere.

Reading is not for everyone. Some people are just not going to enjoy it, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, give a different genre a try. See what’s out there besides school book club novels. There are books for everything and everyone, it is just about finding the ones meant for you, not the education curriculum.

Let’s read more!

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