With the extra time I’ve had over the past two weeks, I’ve been able to catch up on a favorite pastime: reading. If you’re like me, you may be able to remember – WAY back in “the day” – when you first started to read chapter books. After spending much of your first couple years of school advancing your reading skills, being able to read a full-length, “big kid” book seemed pretty cool – I can remember reading a number book series in elementary school, like the Hardy Boys mystery series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and eventually my all-time favorite series, the Harry Potter novels. While I really enjoyed these books I’ve mentioned, I didn’t always find reading to be enjoyable. Having to get through an assigned number of books each year by my teachers could make it more of a task on my to-do list than an enjoyable activity.
As I’ve entered college at K-State and gotten busier, I feel I’ve been able to rediscover the enjoyment of reading, and not only that, but the importance of reading everyday for enjoyment, to gain knowledge, to keep up on current events, and in order to be renewed. I think it’s especially important to become a passionate reader in college – reading for fun can give my brain a break in the midst of studying and reading an inspirational autobiography of someone I look up to can help me push through when I’m discouraged. Reading even helped me a lot last year as I worked through my academic major change – I found my love for public policy and legal issues through some of the books I’ve read.
If you’re looking for some books to try out, one genre of reading material in particular has consistently stood out to me: I’m a big fan of a leadership and self-development books. This spring, as a part of Blue Key Senior Honorary, I’ll be teaching a course for freshmen and sophomores called Catalyst. In the self-development training class, we’ll discuss three books, all of which I’ve enjoyed reading so far on Winter Break: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Other 90% by Robert K. Cooper, and Habitudes by Tim Elmore. Elmore’s book in particular is intriguing – he believes that leadership is best taught using images, so as a visual learner, it’s fun to “re-live my childhood” by learning leadership through the images in his book. Elmore will be coming to campus in February to give a presentation to the student body, and I’m excited to hear more from an author I’ve really come to respect.
Reading – whether it be the news, an enjoyable book, or simply my Twitter feed (I find myself doing this last one A LOT) – can be a great break from the busyness of college. K-State has taught me the importance of being a lifelong learner, and reading is the single best way I know of to learn.