5 reasons why school reading doesn’t stink

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Photo by Alyssa Olalde

Senior Luis Moreno reads novel from school curriculum

Story by Leah Crenshaw, staff writer

There are a lot of books to read in school. A lot. With varieties of books from “The Fault in Our Stars” to “Canterbury Tales,” it can get overwhelming to deal with all the “Ye Olde English.” But it is important to remember that it is not all that bad.

 

  1. No Fear-Cliff-Sparks

Just about every high school reading book is a classic in some way. This means Texas High School 2014 is not the first time people have read and analyzed any of these books. Classics like “Beowulf,” any Shakespeare, “The Crucible,” and basically anything else written before 2000 have been analyzed and talked about at least a thousand times. This does not mean cheat, but don’t waste time stumbling through a book because you didn’t use the Internet.

  1. All in Due Time
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Photo by Alyssa Olalde

AP English IV teacher Anne Fruge is giving her students two days for 10 pages of reading. For the freshman, the amount is a little more, 22 pages of “The Fault in Our Stars” each night, but the font is pretty big. The reality is that the teachers want people to read the books, not give up because of time. Problems start happening when students wait until the last weekend to read all of “Fahrenheit 451.” Procrastination hurts; don’t do it.

  1. Death, Destruction and Seduction

This one is especially true for Shakespeare. It may sound flowery, but in between people dying and preaching and angsting, there are scenes that are too explicit to put in the paper (Abigail in the Crucible). Similar “racy” scenes or action sequences in most of these books. “Beowulf” even has a man beating up a dragon with his bare hands. These books were written for normal people, not nuns.

  1. Themes don’t expire.

These novels are about themes still important today. The movie Easy A (2010) did a pretty good job of highlighting this fact, drawing parallels to The Scarlet Letter in a high school. Romeo and Juliet has been remade more times than anyone could fully list. The Lion King is basically feline Hamlet with less death. While today these themes occur in different settings, the meaning remains the same. Themes like these aren’t limited to the “way back when.”

  1. Reading for a Reason

If you ask someone about classical music, names like Beethoven, Mozart, or maybe Haydn from the particularly well informed, are likely to come up. Arguably, these are some of the greatest composers that ever lived, so their names stuck around. The same is true of the classic authors. These are genuinely good books. Take the best novel in the next 50 years and one might become a high school independent novel. These books are around because they’re good at being books, so suck it up and read them. People find intelligence attractive anyway.