Once upon a time, there was a world where stories could fly. They flew from word of mouth to paper, from paper to computer and from computer to the Internet. They had the power to take readers to different worlds, worlds in the past, present and future.
Yet, some of these stories flew over the heads of Pres students, rushing from one class to the next. This incredibly precious cargo now resides in a section of the Pres library, where it lies in wait for an stray traveler to pick it up and, well, read it.
Reading at Pres can seem impossible to do for an English class. Reading a different book for fun probably never comes to mind when you have 30 pages of Great Expectations for homework and 20 pages of a history textbook to take notes on. However, the library is still stocked with plenty of books that students can choose from to read for pleasure.
Librarian Katy Lemon says that only around four or five students a month come to the library to check out books to read for fun. Yet, there are currently 546 books in the fiction section of the library for people to read.
The books in the library can be fresh and new. “If anybody expresses any interest at all in a particular author or book, I will get it,” Lemon said. “The sad thing is, when those people leave, we have the books and nobody else wants them. They just sit there.”
Some people at Pres make time to read. Sophomore Rithu Paramesh said, “I end up reading almost every day . . . In the mornings normally during the commute here and the commute back, I end up reading.”
Teachers also try to make time for pleasure reading. “For me, even though I’m also reading the books I’m teaching along with the students during the semester, I always try to have some time in the day to read a book that I want to read for fun,” said English teacher Stefanie Silva.“It’s something of my interest, I am relaxed and I’m just enjoying being away from computer screens.”
Reading for pleasure can have special meaning for some members of the Pres community. Paramesh said, “For me, the same stories that a lot of people watch on TV I just prefer to see in words . . . For stories there’s no time limit; you just take it at your own pace, and I really like that. I also like having my own interpretation of it, which appeals to me sometimes more than just having what TV show creators have in mind.”
Silva said, “For me, I like to read and get lost in the story a little bit. I think it reduces stress for me because I can stop thinking about what is happening in my life or all the work I have to do, and I can just focus on what the characters are doing or what’s happening and get kind of caught up in the story. So I think definitely for me, it’s a stress reducer, and it’s a good, calming relaxation time.”
Lemon said that it is important to read for fun since you can gain more knowledge and it can also be relaxing. “It sort of takes you away to another place. I’ve learned so much from reading all these books; it’s just remarkable,” Lemon said.
Dreaming of destiny? A world of fiction awaits at the Pres library. All you have to do is open a book!