Want to make reading a daily habit? Here’s how to take the first steps


Jordynn Blackwell, Staff Writer

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about reading? Is it the experience of being lost in someone else’s story? The idea of traveling with no physical transportation? Or does it seem like a drag?


Even though we are encouraged to read from the early stages of our lives, reading is considered a chore to most. In English classes, we are encouraged to practice reading independently, promised that it is for our own benefit. Despite this, students see independent reading as another homework assignment, taking the fun out of its true purpose.


Though many seem unmotivated to read, doing it daily can have a lot of benefits.


I think reading every day would be very helpful to anyone,” junior Katelyn Gaulin said. “Reading can help one be more knowledgeable on different subjects, reduce stress, and is a great source of entertainment if you find a book that fits your needs.”


Who knew that reading had this many benefits. Even just flipping through your favorite gossip magazine or skimming through your Sunday paper can not only make reading more enjoyable but also relieve your stress and improve your comprehension and vocabulary.


Though 2021 is in full swing, you don’t have to wait for 2022 to make reading a habit. 


According to a survey, 32.1 percent of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students have made reading part of their routine. English teacher Heidi Novik often motivates her students to make reading a daily practice, while emphasizing that becoming a better reader is a process.


“Some tips I suggest for anyone who wants to make reading a daily habit is start small and work on building your reading stamina,” Novik said. “You can’t sit down on day one and try to read for hours straight. Try reading at different times of the day and find what works best for you.  I believe that reading before bed settles the mind, but I also know I don’t focus best at that time. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore, and if it does, you probably aren’t reading the right thing.” 


Junior Lia Scianclepore, who has recently become an avid reader, suggests that it’s important to know what kind of genres and stories you are interested in. This way, you’ll be more excited and will anticipate reading the book rather than yawning while turning each page.


“For anyone who wants to make reading a daily habit, start off with a book you really like, or are really anticipating to read,” Scianclepore said. “For example, if you like romance don’t start off with ‘Imaginary Friends’ by Stephen Chbosky, a thriller novel. Instead, go for ‘They Both Die at the End’ by Adam Silvera, a young adult, and LGBT novel. Also, try and start off reading 15 pages and or minutes a day and work your way up.” 


Now that you know how good reading can be, what’s still holding you back! Reading can be actually kind of addicting once you find the perfect genre to delve into. 


However, if you need any suggestions, here is a list of some recommendations:

Katelyn’s Picks

  • The “Fablehaven” series by Brandon Mull (Fantasy)


Mrs. Novik’s Picks

  • “You Should See Me In A Crown” by Leah Johnson (Fiction)
  • “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance (Non-Fiction)
  • “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller (Non-Fiction)
  • “Educated” by Tara Westover (Biography)
  • “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens (Mystery, Fiction) 
  • “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng (Fiction)


Lia’s Picks

  • “Where I End and You Begin” by Preston Norton (Young Adult Fiction)
  • “The Last Days of California” by Mary Miller (Science Fiction and Coming-of-Age)
  • “Son” by Lois Lowry (Young Adult, Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy)
  • “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury (Dystopian Fiction and Political FIction)
  •  “A Child Called “It” by David Pelzer (Autobiography)
  • ‘We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart (Young Adult and Thriller)
  • “Punk 57” by Penelope Douglas (Romance)
  • “A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair (Romance, Fantasy)
  • “Unchosen” by Katharyn Blair (Young Adult)