I used to read quite a lot as a child, my parents would read to me a lot too… and as I grew up, my parents used to always seemed to deploy more kids books in and around the house; A series of Unfortunate Events, Kensuke’s Kingdom, The Night Circus… We were almost pushed into reading and as I grew up, I went off reading, and its only been the last few years that I’ve really managed to get back into picking up a book and actually dedicating time to do it.

Reading at University is always going to be difficult, in my first year the only thing that really came to my mind was meeting new people, playing sport or going out for a drink so the idea of sitting in my claustrophobic student halls was hardly appealing. When I got to my second year, I really wanted to start reading, mainly because I found out I really liked my own personal space; I enjoy giving myself a night to myself and what better way to fill a couple of hours than getting lost in a book. I think what I struggled to comprehend, not through stupidity but just being naive to the concept that there is a wealth of knowledge within every book. As soon as I started reading, I saw a noticeable change in both my writing style and the sort of language I was using in my essays, not to mention the actual context of the book.

For those people who find that reading is boring, to some extent I can agree. A few months ago, I tried to read Thomas Hardy’s – Tess of the D’Ubervilles, a really well written book but the story in my eyes seemed to drag out and I struggled most of the way through. But if you do dig around, you can find the perfect book for you. Of course, everyone is different and there are so many books to choose from, but dig around, read some reviews and read the first page of a book. It might be great, it might be terrible. But until you try you won’t know. You’ll know when you’ve found the right book, because you’ll always want to read it, and when you’ve finished it, all you want to do it tell someone else to read it.

As I said before about liking my own personal space, but I think reading has the ability to help people relax and become stress free. I’m sure some people can agree with me when I say how easy it is to see hours pass when reading a good book, and theres nothing better than going several hours without thinking about the next deadline, your money troubles, bills to pay etc.

I’m talking about books here, but you can read anything. Newspapers, magazines, blogs… Just read.

Matt Rhodes

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