• Quinn Beeson

How to Not Be Burnt Out by Reading

Being in high-school means you get acquainted with reading. A lot of reading. Summer reading, assigned books, textbooks and articles, it feels like student life is simply being waterboarded in printer ink and words. It’s no wonder then that a lot of people simply stop reading for fun; something that once seemed entertaining and exciting is now only work.

That’s a shame because reading is great. I’m well aware of how much I sound like some edutainment mascot from the early 00’s a la Trevor Romain or Leap Frog, but it’s true. Reading doesn’t have to just be work though. There are a multitude of ways to keep reading throughout and beyond high school, and I mean reading for pleasure, not just for your GPA.

One idea is not reading to a schedule. Reading on a schedule can take a toll on someone, being forced to read at specific intervals and at a pace dictated by a teacher. While generalized pacing can help, a lot of people may have issues not being able to read faster or slower than what the teacher wants. When reading for pleasure, it might help to just read at one’s own pace, and not worry about meeting page quotas.

Reading new genres is another thing one could do. If you have to read a lot of historical fiction? Read comedy, horror, or even romance. Have to read a lot of non-fiction? Read some fantasy or science fiction. Preventing oneself from being locked into a singular genre does a lot to keep someone from feeling burnt out by reading.

Another option is reading flash fiction and other styles of short stories. Flash fiction, as defined by Wikipedia, is a “…fictional work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development…” Essentially, reading short stories can still allow for reading during breaks and free time in class, while not having the baggage of having to dedicate oneself to a novel-sized hunk of word meat.

There are dozens of places online dedicated to these types of stories, ranging from specialized Twitter accounts to full websites. A personal favorite of mine is the SCP Foundation, a site themed around cosmic horror and weird stuff in the vein of the X-Files and Stranger Things. A fair warning, it can get heavy and spooky at times, but there’s enough short content there to keep one occupied for months.

Finally, reading comics is also a great option. Both the internet and bookstores have made reading comics a much easier hobby for one to enter. Web comics, either hosted on their own sites or on apps like WebToons, can function the same as flash fiction - giving one something small to read during a break. Physical comics have some of the best stories in fiction, and the mix of art and words can give one’s brain a break if it’s had to stare at thousands of words for a few hours.

Reading is a rewarding task that can definitely benefit you in the long run. Even if high school seems like it wants to drain all the fun from it, there are still ways to keep reading and keep having fun while doing it.


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