Read and Chill: Do we Need Books?

By Paola Urribarri, Copy-Editor

Can you remember the time when you couldn’t read? It feels really distant, right? If you started to read at 5 or 6 as the average person, you probably have been reading at least 10 years of your life. Reading is probably the most important thing we learn in our lives, since reading gives us a lot of the knowledge in our brains. Knowledge is one of the most precious things we have as humans, and without reading we would lack a lot of it.

Many Miami High students agree about reading’s importance. Senior Anjee Rodriguez, who really enjoys reading, said, “I think one of the easiest ways to expand your knowledge of the world —especially through different perspectives than yours— is to read! It’s super important regardless of whether it’s done online, in a book, or in a newspaper.”

Senior Emily Mendes said, “Not only does reading help extend your knowledge, but it builds your vocabulary and increases your creativity.”

English Honor Society (EHS) secretary Rosa Mendoza, a senior, said, “I truly believe that knowledge is key, and books feed you this kind of wisdom. You can learn various things from books. I believe that reading books makes you more empathetic and understanding to the world around you.”

Even non-readers know that what they don’t do is important. A non-reading senior (who wishes to remain in anonymity), sighed, “Even though I don’t read, and I probably haven’t touched a book since 7th grade, I know reading can give you good stuff; it’s also really important for school.”

Yes, everyone reads for school, but that doesn’t mean everyone enjoys reading. “I don’t really read for pleasure, but I always have to read for my classes,” said senior Thalia Lopez.

Senior Sebastian Lopez said, “It really depends. I don’t read often, but if it’s something that I like, I enjoy reading.”

Many people couldn’t help but mention their favorite books. Sophomore Esmeralda Hechavarria loves the Hush Hush saga. “I just love the story,” she said. “I think is an amazing book!”

Sophomore Rosario Barraza’s favorite book is Looking for Alaska. “It taught me to care for people’s feelings because you could never know who is going through something. It also made me understand that bottling your feelings up is bad and you should always reach for help. Depression is a serious thing and it shouldn’t be taken for granted,” she said.

EHS President Eileen Hernandez said, “Picking a book is always impossible for me, but one book that is definitely one of my all-time favorites is The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This book reassures me that there is a unique and special purpose for everyone in life, no matter who you are. So, if you’re having daily existential crises just like I did, it’s worth the read.”

Many books are available for free in libraries or online but there are people who would spend money to own a book. Sussan Diaz, EHS Historian, said, “I tend to buy books out of interest. I personally like reading memoirs the best because they allow me to enter the writer’s head. I like to analyze their thought process, and they make me question what I would do if I was them. Reading books necessarily because of their popularity is not a bad thing either, but they wouldn’t provide me with the same satisfaction.”

Eileen Hernandez said, “I always buy every book I want to read, but sometimes I borrow them from others and then return them. I prefer having the physical copy of a book over an electronic version. I absolutely do think they are worth the money because the experience of reading a physical copy is entirely different. One important thing everyone should know is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on books. Thriftbooks is a website I often buy used books from for an incredibly cheap price, and the quality is just as great as a new book from Barnes and Noble. Overall, I feel that there is a sentimental value in the ownership of books that doesn’t compare to reading the electronic versions that seem temporary and artificial.”

Stingaree Book Recs

  • Valentina Figuera recommended The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

  • Emily Mendes recommended Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

  • Cyan James recommended The Giver by Lois Lowry

  • Amanda Echevarria recommended Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  • Anthony Lara recommended War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

  • Nicole Colombo recommended The Hate u Give by Angie Thomas

  • Nicoletta Valencia recommended Go ask Alice by Anonymous

  • Maria Leon recommended Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

  • Michael Ojeda recommended The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  • Emma Alonso recommended Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

  • Sigrid Real-Aguilar recommended Whiskey Words and a Shovel by H. Sin