6 Books For Students to Resurrect Love for Reading
“There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we listen and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life.”
– Celephaïs, by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Reading books has always been considered essential for every child and adult. It provides numerous benefits such as:
● enriched vocabulary;
● improved grammar skills (without having to memorize rules);
● broadened knowledge;
● flexibility of mind, etc.
However, at some point, it became a competition of who reads more books and how serious those are. Although those two things are not the ultimate goal, they discouraged quite a lot of people even if they used to like reading in their childhood. But there is actually no ultimate goal.
It doesn’t matter if you finished Atlas Shrugged or a fairytale yesterday. One shouldn’t give up on reading fiction just because they lag behind some trends. Every short story or novel one reads changes them a bit, expands their background knowledge, gives them another perspective on a matter or an opportunity to relate to a character.
For some people, serious and deep literature is too much due to their temperament. Others have to concentrate on their learning or job duties. So, at the end of the day, all they want is to relax, not process a Shantaram-like story before going to sleep.
Some students have more chances of falling asleep when starting reading such literature, however good and highly praised it may be. And they will be lucky enough if, prior to that, they send a ‘do my math homework’ request to the respective service. In the end, it’s either about a sleepless night or having some rest to restore the energy.
Having an easy read can help you with the latter as well. However unbelievable it may sound, even rather poor books may offer some food for thought. Yet, be careful not to drown in cheap literature with superficial plots.
If you don’t know what book to start with, here’s a list of easy-to-read ones that may remind you of the value of fiction.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
One can call it a psychological thriller. Well, it is intriguing, but not too tangled. There are not so many characters to become confused. The main focus is on the thoughts of a young woman who struggles to socialize and tends to be engulfed by her dreams. However, the real world keeps dragging her back. She gets to know new people and what friendship is.
The novel basically describes the everyday life of the main character many people would consider a weird person. Eleanor leads a quiet secluded life, yet, her goals seem rather ambitious, even unrealistic. She keeps in touch with her abusive mother and tries to please her despite the poor treatment
As the story unfolds, the author throws in some hints for the reader to explain the protagonist’s motives. If you’re into psychology and unraveling mysteries, check out this book.
Silas Marner, by George Eliot
Silas is a recluse living near an English village. One day, he finds out that all his savings (he couldn’t know what to spend on) are stolen, but soon, he receives a much more precious gift of fate he could never expect. The story won’t leave you indifferent and may make you reconsider your own values and priorities in life.
The characters of this novel live in the 19th century and can remind you of fairy tale archetypes. Sometimes, the book is actually called a tale or a mixture of myth and legend.
The narrative is simple and enticing, even a bit naive. Yet, it can provide some insights for any reader and was even included in the BBC Big Read’s Top 200 Books.
High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby is one of the authors who do not dive deep to produce a highly philosophical manuscript. This is exactly what makes his books so relatable. They are about ordinary people.
Just as A Long Way Down written by Hornby 10 years later, High Fidelity presents a mixture of light humor, some dark jokes, and a recurring feeling of being lost. The last one is, nevertheless, depicted as an integral part of everyone’s life. So, what options do the characters have? They grapple with the challenges with all means they have up their sleeve.
The main character of this novel is a man in his thirties going through a crisis. For some, he may seem like a man who overrates his sufferings. Yet, if you think it over, everybody has the same struggles and desires as he does. Maybe it’s others who underrate the importance of those simple things.
High Fidelity presents basically mundane situations everyone has experienced in their life at least once. It touches upon the typical moments that can make one depressed or happy, anxious or excited, afraid or brave enough to move on. It’s neither pessimistic nor optimistic.
It’s just real. Although the author raises simple and reasonable questions, not many people are used to asking themselves those.
A History of the World in 101⁄2 Chapters
Despite the confusing title, it’s not a coursebook, but a compilation of short stories. They relate to each other only by the main idea of the author and some allusions. So, you can read it in baby steps.
The author pays particular attention to references to the Bible and whatever is connected to the water. One can notice the role of the latter in almost all stories. The parallels drawn between Noah’s Ark, Titanic, and the story standing behind Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of Medusa are astonishing.
Julian Barnes challenges the reader as he develops the central idea of how the history can be distorted, or repeat again and again. The traces of an existential crisis can be seen as well, but don’t allow yourself to be seized by it. There are a few humorous moments spared as well, and the rest is for the new generations to learn from.
Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome
This novel may not seem new, yet, it deserves attention. From the very start, you will be able to either relate to the narrator or recognize somebody you know in him. The book was written more than a hundred years ago. Yet, somehow, the author managed to dwell on a number of typical hilarious human traits that are still relevant in the modern world.
As three friends decide to take a boat trip up the Thames, the reader can become a part of the crew together with Jerome, Harris, George, and Jerome’s dog Montmorency. The humorous mood rules supreme in the novel and helps to take a break from everyday life.
If you pick up this book, you will also learn about some cultural traditions of England (presented in an ironic light though). So, if you need something to cheer you up, download a copy and enjoy it.
Man and Boy, by Tony Parsons
Some of us may spend our lives not really appreciating what we have. Or not knowing whether we need it, in fact. At some point, even the luckiest ones have to realize its value or face the truth. And, typically, those are dramatic twists in one’s life that make them open their eyes. And this story is not an exception.
The transformation into a mature man is triggered by the chain of unfortunate events. Just a few days ago, Harry used to have a job and a family. Now, he is a single father who has to take care of his son and find a new job. Only as his own father faces health issues, the main character gets to realize that he is no longer a kid.
As Harry’s life turns into a swirl of challenges, the reader might sympathize with or judge him. Irrespective of your attitude towards the main character, you’re going to want to know how this story ends. Despite the dramatic background, the novel is spiced up with humor and natural flow of dialogues.
In the end, it all comes down to one simple truth: all of us have flaws, we all make mistakes sometimes. We are also responsible for them, but it’s not something that should stop anybody from moving on.
To conclude, reading is not about achievements. It’s about your mind being on the go and enjoyment. It’s not obligatory to read a 1000-page stream-of-consciousness-like book just to keep up with the rest of the people you know.
The world of literature is extremely diverse. And there are definitely at least a couple of books you will find pleasant to read. Who knows, you may like them and suddenly fall in love with the world of fiction.