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  • Chanel Estrada

Reading allows you to take charge of life, define your individual path

The books a person reads can be a window into their soul. It can even reveal their deepest secrets. Everyone has different views and interests in their reading choices, but the most important thing is that reading can form as a safe haven that everyone could partake in.

Each generation has different wants and literary interests. Because of this, young adults, wise adults, and really wise adults each have different views and interests that can affect their book choices, so let's start with an average teen's opinions about reading and what they read. Mathew Lee is a fellow reader and here is what he has to say about the matter.

Matthew Lee, "One of the most impactful books I've read."

Lee states, “I like to read because it updates me on the world. I’m drawn to reading philosophy [and] science, like psychology — scientific updates on psychology — because it's really interesting.” Furthermore, Lee goes on to say, “Of course, if you look at notable people like Steve Jobs and ask family friends, they can tell you reading has helped a lot in terms of life and philosophy. I prefer reading books that invoke the idea that some books that influenced and inspired me are originals. Adam grants 21 lessons about the 21st century is one of the best writers in my opinion. These types of books create a lot of different insights… and make the world intriguing.”

Adulthood is the period in a human's lifespan in which intellectual maturity has been attained. This means that everything that was done before attaining maturity is an opportunity for mature adults to look back on their past mistakes to cringe or grow. English teacher Isa Aguirre reflects on her book journey and how it affected her adulthood journey: “As a small kid, then a young adult, and now [in] this phase of my life, reading has always been escape and peace and reset and reflection and perspective, more than any kind of formal class or professor or experience. Reading has been the only space for me that I've had full agency.”

Aguirre goes on to say, “I think particularly if you're in a place where you are working with young people, lots of human beings that are different from you, reading is a really key way to understand the lived experience of people that are not intimately connected to you. So, I think everyone in general should read. I love James Baldwin, so I’ve read all of that man’s brilliant work. And I'm halfway through Celeste Ng's new novel. I just think it's titled Missing Hearts and I'm a huge fan. I think she does really beautiful work. Everything I Never Told You is about her brother connecting clues to the main characters going missing. So it's just like an account of all the things the missing person went through. All these different challenges that she was having, which she never was able to communicate to anyone and it's just a stunning book; it's written in a really accessible way. It's very captivating; it talks a lot about the role of women in STEM and how challenging that is, especially as a woman of color. She homes in on hard topics with lots of grace. I read and really really loved Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner; about again multiracial young woman talking about losing her mom and how that was for her and how she's been grappling with that pain. She's come to food, specifically, Korean dishes as a place of healing and connection. When she's buying those ingredients, she feels close to her mom. Stunning book.”

Books affect the young, the limbo and the older generation. Take history teacher Dale Hinckley as an example: “I think it's a form of escape for me. I read a lot of science fiction and I love the far future and distant spaces that science fiction books present — and also it's a way of creating allegories for the issues that we face now — for example the rise of artificial intelligence. It's about thinking through problems that we might have today and thinking about the future.

"I've read at least 10 or 12 books by Iain Banks. He was an English novelist — brilliant man — and he created a far-future sci-fi world called ‘The Culture,’ in which artificial intelligence is much more intelligent than people. So the artificial intelligences actually control the world. "

Hinckley offers another example: “Martha Wells' The MurderBot series about a very high functioning android AI that is navigating this strange space between being a machine and being a person. This is a theme that will be important to us as artificial intelligence develops.”

Just goes to show that reading is a diverse thing. Hinckley looks like a classical reading type of person — who would have guessed he reads sci-fi books?

Books can have so much meaning for a person. Books can show where a person's head is at. They can show someone's values and wants. They can transfer guidance and wisdom that helps navigate them through lives or they can bring comfort into someone's life. Books change lives. Like Toni Morrison, a famous American novelist, once said, “Books are a form of political action. Books are knowledge. Books are a reflection. Books change your mind.”

Most High Ranked Books of each generation for 2022, according to Goodreads

Young Adult:

The Weight of Blood

All My Rage


The School for Good Mothers

It Ends With Us

Older Generations:

Bayou Book Thief

The Island of Summer Sunsets


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