Top Shelf: Go read a book!


Read a book. Make it one of the gifts you ask for this year. Put it on your list of New Year’s Resolutions. (areta ekarafi/Flickr Creative Commons)

This is my last column of the semester, and with winter break just around the corner, we’re all going to have some free time. I want to spend some time talking about the last few weeks and what I’ve written this semester, but I also have a question for you: When was the last time you read for pleasure? 

Let’s start off with a quick “State of the Union” type thing. November is over, which means NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, came to an end. I didn’t hit the full 50k, but I didn’t expect to. I wrote around 15k during the month and edited seven chapters, so I’d say I was pretty productive. I want to continue working on my novel over break, so hopefully when we come back in January, I’ll have a lot to update you all with. Writing takes a lot of discipline. It’s not easy to set aside time for it, but that’s my main goal during break.  

On the bright side, I’ve written about 25,000 words for The Daily Campus this semester, so I’ve been getting my words in elsewhere. Plus, between everything I read over the summer and everything I’ve read for my class, I’ve finished well over 20 books this year.  

All this brings me back to the question I asked at the beginning of the article: When was the last time you read for pleasure? It seems to be a dying art. When I ask people when the last time they read for fun was, they usually just laugh and make a joke about how they don’t read. And oftentimes, after joking about it, a lot of people say they actually miss it. They want to read, but their pile of school work just doesn’t leave them time for it. 

But guess what, friends? Winter break is coming. And while a lot of you likely have jobs, internships or classes over break, I’d like to give you a challenge: Read a book. Make it one of the gifts you ask for this year. Put it on your list of New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re one of those people who keeps saying you wish you had time to read, then do something about it! 

Don’t know what to read? Ask your best friend, sibling, significant other or whoever you want what their favorite book is, and then go find it. Drop into your local library or bookstore and see what they have on display. Just talk to people and see what they suggest you read. You can learn so much from people this way. 

Think about all those times you’ve listened to someone’s favorite song and, just for an instant, saw the world through their eyes. You get the same feeling by reading someone else’s favorite book, but it can often be so much more powerful. Especially if you borrow their copy of it and they’ve highlighted certain sections of it or written in the margins. It’s an entirely different way to get to know someone.  

As a kid, many of us experienced that rush of staying up past our bedtime, hidden under the covers with a flashlight to read just one more chapter of that book we were so totally enthralled in. Don’t you miss that? 

So humor yourself. Pick up a book over break and let yourself fall into whatever world it will take you to. Disappear for a bit. Take your time and just enjoy it. 

Courtney Gavitt is a Staff Writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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