Book Talk: Students discuss their different reading habits


Ana Gajewski and Delaney Johnson

Based on an online survey of 140 students, the top three favorite authors are Colleen Hoover, Stephen King and J.K. Rowling.

Luke Crawford, Staff Writer

200 books — that’s how many senior Janella Corpin has read since 2021, and she’s heard about them all on TikTok or Goodreads.
In an online survey of 179 students, about six out of 10 people said over the course of the summer they read at least one book, not counting assigned reading.
Most students said they find book recommendations from friends or family members, but one growing demographic of readers comes from TikTok.
Of the school’s readers, 25% said that TikTok was their primary source of book recommendations.
Since last year, TikTok has had a massive influence on the print market. According to an article in Forbes, 2021 saw the largest amount of paperback book sales since 2004, which many industry analysts attribute to the growing literary movement online.
One author who has gained traction both on TikTok and among students is Colleen Hoover. According to the Washington Post, her romance novel “It Ends With Us” sold over 700,000 copies last year despite originally being a backlist title with no marketing.
“I think she’s really good, I really liked ‘It Ends With Us,’” Corpin said.
Romance is the favored genre among student readers, followed closely by fantasy/sci-fi, and then it’s a close tie for third between realistic fiction and mystery.
One enthusiast of realistic fiction is senior Oscar Ludwikowski.
“I like to connect to my books,” Ludwikowski said. “I think sci-fi’s too out there.”
As one of the school’s most prolific readers, Ludwikowski read 12 books over the summer.
Ludwikowski’s favorite of his summer reads, “Station Eleven,” follows a band of musicians touring a post-apocalyptic America.
“It’s about how even in the death of the world and technology, music and art always prosper,” Ludwikowski said.
It’s no secret that a lot of people (especially students) simply do not like reading whatsoever. For many, it is likened to homework as opposed to entertainment or art.
One person who is determined to change that idea is English teacher Brock Hess, who says his main goal this year is to help students to read more.
“I think that people don’t like reading either because they’re not reading good books, or they’re having a hard time following,” Hess said.
He then explained various strategies to make reading more appealing to students, such as providing a list of several books that the students could choose from, as opposed to one assigned reading.
“I feel like if students feel like they have a choice, they’re more apt to actually do something,” Hess said. “And then maybe they can find something they are interested in and just see reading as a good.”
For students who do have a fondness for literature, the explanation is very simple – a well-needed break from reality.
“It helps get my mind off of everything going on,” senior Charly Curry said. “It takes you to your own little world, and I think that’s fun.”
Though the world may be reading less now than in the past, literature is timeless. Whether it be a student or teacher, a good book can give the reader an alluring peer into a new world.
“I think it’s important to read because it helps your imagination,” Curry said. “Having that type of endless entertainment and information is really special.”