I have enjoyed books since I learned to read in first grade. Every night through the eighth grade I would read a few chapters of a chosen book, sometimes staying up late to finish it. But now I am lucky if I read one book I want to a year. Every school year I pile books beside my bed and wait for summer with no homework and time to read. And each June I receive a summer reading list. Now, I can understand that English teachers want students to read a few chosen books over the summer and I can deal with these and still have time to read some that I want, but when history teachers add another two books and science and religion classes also assign books, I know the books I want to read will never be opened; I will be lucky if I finish the assigned ones on time. It is hard to enjoy these books I have no interest in, especially when a pile of interesting books is just out of reach. I have begun to hate books because I don't like what I am reading. I watched this happen to my brother, who is now in college. He, too, had loved to read, but now he rarely picks up a book. He despises them due to his high school days of required reading. I see myself following in his path and wish it could be another way. So I now ask those teachers of history, the sciences, religion to stop assigning summer reading. Leave it to the English teachers and give us, the students, some time to read those books that we have been waiting to read. I would like to enjoy reading again. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.