I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird and it got me thinking of my old high school days (all of three years ago).
I was remembering reading To Kill a Mockingbird my sophomore year as a class. I remember laughing at the obvious funny parts in the story but I didn’t really read the book. I read it just enough to write a paper but I didn’t really get into the novel.
I found that this time round with To Kill a Mockingbird, I actually read it… and thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me sad that I could have read this five years ago and felt the way I do now.
Then I got to thinking, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened.
I ‘read’ Pride and Prejudice my senior year– I didn’t get past the first page. I just wasn’t interested in even giving the novel a chance. However last summer my mom bought this gigantic book that contained all of Jane Austen’s works. It was so pretty that I found myself wanting to read it. I picked it up and have been in love with Pride and Prejudice ever since.
Let’s get something clear. It’s not like I didn’t love to read when I was in high school. Oh no, I was constantly reading in those days (especially Harry Potter). But give me a book that a teacher says I MUST read and suddenly my interest in reading disappears.
I have a couple of theories on this. My thoughts are maybe we automatically associate school with boring, so our mind tells us that the book is uninteresting even when it is, but I’m not sure about this one.
I think this one is more likely, when we are given a book by a teacher, we know we are going to have to pick it dry. We are not reading it for entertainment’s sake but to delve some hidden meaning of why the author made the curtains blue.
If they gave us a novel and said, “I just want you to enjoy it” then maybe we would actually read the novel. When I read for enjoyment, my curiosity starts to peak and I automatically start picking at the novel without even realizing it. If teachers went along with this I guarantee many more students would actually read the book.
What about you guys? Did you struggle with this in school? Do you have any theories as to why it happens? Let me know by commenting below and happy reading!
- Pride and Prejudice (graphicnovelseng431.wordpress.com)
- Literate Liars and the Lying Lies We Tell (theparisreview.org)
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (honshinen.wordpress.com)