Do students read anymore?

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As Harrisites balance AP and QC classes with extracurriculars and sports, many end up without time for activities that they enjoy, such as reading. 

Reading rates seem to differ between each grade. Freshman Emily Lu stated that she reads for a weekly average of three hours, and freshman Madeline Cannon reads an average of 9 to 10 hours per week. However, junior Hans Li reads for an average of an hour per week, “only if school allows it.” Juniors Katie Hsu and Kevin Baijoo agreed, as they both tend to not read throughout the week and only do so if it is part of their schoolwork. 

Junior Kanny Fang, though, offered a different perspective. While she agrees that it is a struggle to balance recreational reading with school, extracurriculars, and work, Kanny made a resolution to read one book per month, “which is actually harder than it seems,” she explained. “I have always loved reading so it’s an imperative goal. In fact, on a friend’s recommendation, I just started The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, and it’s a long but great book. ”

Katie believes that it is more important to prioritize regular classwork over reading; she struggles to make time for sleeping, let alone reading. “Though it does bring me happiness to go to Percy’s next adventure, it is more important that I’m attentive in precalc the next day,” she said. While she could schedule more time for it, she “would be losing 30 to 40 minutes of productivity a day.” Kevin added that at THHS, “there’s always some assignment or assessment you could be studying or working on and you just don’t have time to read leisurely.” 

Madeline also explained that she reads “a good amount because it is required for some of [her] classes, but when it comes to independently reading a book on [her] own, [she does not] always have the time to do so.” Even when she has the time, Madeline admitted that she “tends to go on [her] phone instead of taking out a book to read.” 

Looking to the future, Katie hopes to “pick up [her] reading routines from middle school.” Kanny agreed, saying that she doesn’t want to “sacrifice such a pastime and hopes to continue to make time for reading.” For her, “reading a book [every] month has been both highly enjoyable and rewarding.”

Photo Courtesy of Elyssa Lee

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