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School books

Does reading a book in school ruin it?

Maddie Galerston, Copy Editor

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During the twelve years of education that we go through before high school graduation, we read a large amount of books. Some of these are simple 100 page chapter books like The Magic Tree House, and others are long, drawn-out epics like Homer’s The Odyssey. However, one thing they have in common is that as soon as you have a teacher assign them, you don’t want to read them. Although this occurs often, I have noticed that this idea is not always true. Some books I have read because of school have become my favorites, while many books that I have read outside of school have bored me to no end. So, the question remains: does reading a book in school ruin it?

I do not think that the answer is as cut and dry as a yes or a no. In fact, I think it depends on a multitude of variable. The first of these variables is what the book is about. Many of the books that I have read in school are books that I never would’ve thought to read, and so reading them in school didn’t ruin them because I wouldn’t have liked them anyway. Yet, at the same time, books that I hadn’t read because I knew I would read them later have been killed by the classroom environment. This year, as a junior, I had to read The Great Gatsby, which I always thought would fill me with an excitement for romance and adventure. Instead it filled me with dread due to the upcoming projects and the fact that the State Marching Competition was going on while we were supposed to be reading the book.

Another major aspect that can change how you feel towards a book is your relationship with your teacher. If you have a positive relationship with your teacher you will approach the books with a more positive attitude. An example of this is how last year, sophomore year, I had to read a historical fiction novel, one of my least favorite genres. However, I kept my options open and read Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. The book ended up being one of the best books I’ve ever read and I think that the positive relationship that I had with my English teacher was the reason I didn’t go into it already hating it.

These variables and many others go into whether or not a book is ruined by school. Therefore, I don’t think it is fair to say that reading a book in school ruins it, or really that it doesn’t. At the same time, I definitely think that reading a book in school makes it easier to hate it since you can easily blame the reasons you don’t like it on school.

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