Passion for reading

Reigniting a love for reading during the high school years.


Rubi Martin

Librarians Giese and Coerson created an excellent “Adopt a Shelf” program. Students can decorate shelves and foster a sense of pride in the school library.

Active high school readers have diminished, especially since COVID-19 raged throughout the world. Reading is crucial, and without enough of it, test scores drop and low imagination changes the minds of youth. Wilsonville High School is no exception to this change. 

Research by Common Sense Media has shown a correlation between an increase in the use of electronic devices and a decrease in teens who read for pleasure. According to a survey of 96 students at Wilsonville High School, 19.8% consider themselves to be active readers, 67.7% are semi-active, and 10.4% consider themselves to be non-readers. This data is contrasted by the fact that many of these “non-readers” were active readers before high school.

An impressive 37.5% of students were active readers before high school, nearly double the amount in high school. 50% being semi-active, and 12.5% being non-readers. This shows a clear correlation between reaching high school and a decrease in reading for pleasure. Library assistant Laura Giese comments on the issue, mentioning that increased use of phones, difficult school work, and the obtaining of a driver’s license could be culprits of removing idle time.  “It’s just time-draining,” she says. 

Both librarians, Giese and Coreson, have worked hard to make Wilsonville’s library a more comfortable and welcoming environment. There is always a puzzle being worked on, card games going on, and even Sneep Snorp, a statue of a dog that hides around the library. Themes, activities, and events happen often in the library. “I want the library to be a place that’s fun,” says Giese. These activities help to get more students in the library, creating a safe space for both reading and other activities. Giese strives to create a place to be sociable while still expanding your brain. “I want to be that bright spot in kids’ days,” she says. 

As previously mentioned, many students were once active readers. So what can you do to reignite that spark? Giese recommends starting with a trilogy called The Inheritance Games. “It’s astronomical writing! It’s really engaging,” she says. 

Sophomore, Hayden Trotter, recommends starting with Because of Winn-Dixie. She states, “It’s a classic… it has a charm that you can’t help but be drawn to.” Trotter is an active member and co-president of the Book Club at Wilsonville High School. She enjoys reading because of how much you’re able to learn, “such as about different cultures or traditions.”

When choosing a book, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. Getting recommendations will also help guide your decision as it’s more likely that you find a good book. Trotter gets book recommendations from social media and friends, helping her to get personalized choices that she knows she’ll enjoy. While rekindling this love for reading, it’s important to not let a sense of obligation guide your decision. Don’t be afraid to quit a book that doesn’t intrigue you and find a new book that keeps your interest. 

In the same survey, 89.6% of students believe that reading helps with creativity and learning. When you read for pleasure outside of school, test scores, understanding, and the ability to think critically increase. Reading isn’t for everyone, but more often than not, a spark of passion lives within someone that can be ignited with a little bit of inspiration.