I’ve loved stories all my life, but finding the time to read them during school is challenging. During the pandemic, I’ve found a way to renew my love for reading.
My passion for reading began in a library, with the likes of Robert Munsch and Dr. Seuss, which then progressed to Geronimo Stilton and the Bailey School Kids.
I would pile the books I wanted to check out into my arms until I couldn’t carry any more, and then when I got home I would sort through them — what was I in the mood for reading? Which one was due first? Which one could I call dibs on first in case my siblings wanted to read it too?
I would arrange the books on my shelf or my desk. Each book got a different bookmark depending on its story. I loved reading different books at the same time, depending on my mood.
Some of my best memories are of reading in the early morning before everyone else was awake. I also stayed up late to read, quickly throwing my book to the side and pretending to be asleep whenever my mom came to check on me.
While the library books were not mine to keep, their stories would stay with me forever.
It feels bittersweet now to realize that even though my love for reading has grown with the years, I rarely get to read any more.
When university was in person, I read on the bus rides between work, school and home. With the student life being so busy it was a miracle I could even manage to read back then.
When the lockdown began, I stopped going to the library. Just like that, such an important part of my life disappeared.
But we all learn to adapt, and I ended up taking advantage of the digital services offered by the public library. I was initially opposed to ebooks, but I soon found that I didn’t really care whether I was reading a physical book or my e-reader.
It was a little hard to get used to at first, but what always kept me going was what I love the most about books — the stories.
As students, many of us might not get to read for pleasure as often, or we might not even like to read, but we are connected by stories in some way or another.
I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Pick out a book, perhaps one not too long or too short. If you are too busy or restless to sit down and read, consider listening to an audiobook while you exercise or cook.
If you find reading boring, pick a book that you know will interest you for sure — do your research and look at reviews to see what other people have to say about it.
If you don’t go to bookstores or the library often, use an app like Libby or OverDrive. Many e-readers support library ebooks so you won’t have to worry about returning your books on time. You can also read the same book on different devices at any time.
Dedicate a time and space to reading. If you know you won’t commit to reading at any other point in the day, do it first thing in the morning. Read for a certain number of minutes or pages, but remember to do it consistently.
Stories are an important part of all of our lives, and books are integral in capturing and shaping them. Whether it’s a worn out copy of a book you’ve borrowed at least five times from the library or a brand new ebook, I encourage you to pick up a book and read.
You never know what parts of yourself you’ll find in the stories they hold.This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a reply, please email email@example.com. Fiza is a third-year undergraduate student studying computer science, and the staff writer at The Sheaf Publishing Society.