Why students should try reading out of class this semester

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Will Patterson

With the fall semester starting, incoming and returning students are probably going to be doing more reading than they did over summer. Still, students should consider picking up a book—either for reading on spare time or just in between classes.

University students—especially those at the University of Nebraska at Omaha—typically have access to plenty of literature, yet many students find themselves only reading required textbooks and passages.

The benefits of extra reading are astounding. Better communication skills and prolonged mental health can be side effects of habitual book reading.

Looking to become a stronger writer? Extra reading is a great first step. The best way to strengthen one’s vocabulary is through exposure. New authors and genres are an easy method of seeing new techniques and styles.

Rereading old series is another way to get back into the habit. Books read in middle school and high school can provide a very different experience later in life. Even extremely popular series like “Harry Potter” can be something totally new.

On a different note, students should consider something new. Most high school curriculums have made students read the literary classics, but most schools skip biographical books.

Typically seen as a boring alternative to fast-paced fiction novels, biographies and historical books shed light on often-overlooked chapters of history. The popular musical production “Hamilton” was even inspired by Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton biography.

Biographies about modern individuals shaping the world can give incredible insight into happenings across the globe. “I Am Malala” tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl who stood up against the Taliban, was shot and survived to continue her mission of giving young girls education. Yousafzai’s biography is impressive but just one of the many enlightening pieces of modern biographical literature.

One of the easiest ways to form a reading habit is to dedicate a half hour of time to reading before bed. Additionally, it’s a quick way to fall asleep fast.

Whether you are trying to rediscover a nostalgic series, explore a new fantasy adventure or learn a piece of history—forming a reading habit is a great way to stay mentally active between classes this semester.

Students looking to pick up some extra reading materials should swing by the Criss library. Even if the book you are seeking is not currently available, the library staff can help you request and reserve specific books.