Reading for leisure
I miss the times where I would finish a couple novels a week but as the years have gone by, the only sort of reading I’ve done recently was for high school assignments (with the exception of the Hunger Games trilogy) – and now barely any...
I've recently started reading The Handmaid’s Tale, and even started an (informal) book club with my close friends to encourage us to read and discuss our interpretations. I’ve always enjoyed dystopian novels. Some of my favourites are:
- The Time Machine by H.G Wells
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
There’s something about a fictional world (that poses as an insight into our future), that is so enjoyable and capturing to read. I’m able to draw parallels to our world and the dystopian universe which often provides valuable lessons for us to retain. I also have Animal Farm by George Orwell that I plan to read after The Handmaid’s Tale.
But reading for leisure is more difficult than I've anticipated – particularly with the commencement of Semester 2, my time has been filled with chapters of textbook readings and case law. But I tell myself that if I can justify watching a couple hours of Netflix, I can surely devote time to reading!
My 'peak' reading age would have been mid primary school – my favourite authors were Paul Jennings, Morris Gleitzman and Andy Griffiths. I loved the short stories series – they are so creative and engaging. The Many Adventure of Singenpoo and the Gizmo series by Paul Jennings have remained so vividly in my mind, and viewing the covers of these books have conjured up pleasant memories. I’m a huge fan of short stories as they are often imaginative and able to keep my attention for the whole of the story. I'm actually tempted to borrow these books that I read in the past - if I'm reading for leisure I may as well re-read the books I loved in my childhood!
Reading doesn’t just have to be in the form of novels or short stories - I’ve also started reading poetry. Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot and Judith Wright are some of my favourite poets. It’s exciting and thought provoking to analyse poems, and often poets prioritise a specific issue or theme so you can connect the dots between different poems. Dedicating a few hours each week to reading in a leisurely way has reignited the nostalgic memories of primary school and high school.
In a society which consumes so much digital media, reading a novel or poetry is a nice getaway too. It’s even more exciting when you’re able to discuss literature with friends. Reading also has a range of benefits – it can help reduce stress, improve your vocabulary and enhance your writing skills.
So why not gather a group of friends and start a book club?