Reading is good for you, kids!

I love reading. I love reading books, magazines, newspapers, online articles. Anything that has words printed on it, I’ll read it. And I’ve always been like this. My parents told me that when I was about three, they came in to read me a story before bed. Instead of welcoming their presence, they said, I told them they could go away and I could read it myself. And since then, I haven’t been able to stop.

I remember as a kid staying up way past my bedtime to read a book. I would hear my parents coming up the stairs and I would run to turn my light off. Once I heard their door close, I would turn it back on and continue my adventure. Sometimes, I got caught and heard the exasperation in their voices. “Emily, turn off your light and go to bed.” I like to think that they were secretly happy that I was up reading.

And even as a junior in college, I stay up way too late finishing books. It always goes like this, “Ok, only one more chapter, then I’ll go to bed.” The chapter finishes. “Well, that wasn’t a good ending point, one more.” Then, “That chapter was incredibly short, one more.” That would go on until I had 20 or so pages left in the book, and then I would have to finish it. And then I would wake up about three hours later for class and hate myself. But I never learn my lesson.

Growing up, I always carried a book on me. I took one to the dentist’s office, doctor’s appointments and even to sleepovers, you know, just in case we had some free time. And today, I keep one in my purse at all times.

However, one thing I never understood was when kids would proudly say, “I don’t read. I hate it.” I understand if it’s not your favorite thing to do in the world. Hey, I don’t like sports. But bragging about not reading a book for school isn’t cool. I knew people in high school who didn’t read any of the assigned books for class. Yeah, they got by alright thanks to Sparknotes, but I always thought it was ridiculous that they bragged about it. It was like they were proud of not reading. That always hurt my heart. Reading has been one of the only things that has kept me sane in my life; it’s a form of escapism.

When Greg Moore, an Ohio Wesleyan journalism alumnus, came, he told some of us that one of the habits of extremely successful people he has met is that they all read a book a week. Now, I’m not talking about Anna Karenina length a week. It could be anything. If fiction isn’t your style, that’s cool. There are so many genres of books it makes my mind boggle. Whatever you’re interested in, there is probably a book about it. Trust me, I know. I’ve read books about the creation of The Clash’s album, London Calling all the way to books about true crime throughout history.

Now that we are all at that points in our lives, I hope that telling someone you don’t read isn’t a sense of pride like in high school. And I’m not saying reading needs to be your favorite thing in the entire world, like it is mine. I’m just saying you should pick up a book every once in a while. It might surprise you how much you actually enjoy it.

Published by

Emily Feldmesser

Emily can be reached at or @emilyfeldmesser