During pandemic, students and staff enjoy benefits of reading


Ava Goforth

Words on pages transfer readers to other worlds through stories.

Before COVID-19 became a pandemic, people liked to read both as an enjoyable way to pass the time and as a way to connect with others through shared reading interests and book clubs. More recently, however, students have embraced books as a way to escape reality.

Lillian Gilbert, Advanced Placement English Language teacher, is the sponsor of Jupiter High’s book club that meets regularly, both virtually and in-person, and is welcoming new members.

“I’m kind of in between books right now, so I’m waiting to find out what book we’re going to read next for book club,” Ella Adams, senior and book club president, said. 

Adams has been a part of the book club since her junior year. In that time, she has embraced all the adventures and knowledge that come with reading on a regular basis. To get hooked on a good book, however, the book must first meet her standards.

“The plot and also the main characters need to be relatable,” Adams said.

It increases your vocabulary and gives you different perspectives on life. It takes you to places you have never been before and it increases your imagination and your creativity,

— John Day

John Day, Advanced Placement Literature teacher, gravitates toward books and authors that will have a lasting effect on him.

“Frederick Bachman is probably one of my favorite authors, and I’m currently reading a book by him called ‘Anxious People,’ Day said.

Much like Adams, Day likes faster-paced books.

“It’s got to be fast, but well written,” Day said.

For some readers, a book can be well-written but have such a slow plot they get disinterested quickly. Stacy Gardner, a JHS alumnus and avid reader, likes to give her books an ultimatum.

“I usually give a book the first 50 pages to captivate my attention,” Gardner said. “I tend to gravitate towards face-paced books that keep me on the edge of my seat.”

Often, after reading a good book, students and staff are eager to share their reading experiences as well as their book recommendations. 

“I would recommend ‘The Maidens’ and ‘The Silent Patient,’ Adams said.

Aside from book recommendations, students also share their favorite quotes from their favorite novels.

“’To the stars that listen and the dreams that are answered.’ It reminds me that the universe is listening to your dreams and that they will be answered. Keep striving and working hard,” Gardner said.

Different quotes can have varied meanings, depending on the reader. 

“[My favorite line] is from ‘Kite Runner’: ‘It is better to be hurt by truth than comforted by a lie,’” Day said.

Reading has the ability to not only inspire but also put the reader in a more positive headspace. As well, reading can help students academically.

“It increases your vocabulary and gives you different perspectives on life,” Day said. “It takes you to places you have never been before, and it increases your imagination and your creativity.”

Students also appreciate reading for its ability to provide a safe space for you to travel somewhere within your imagination.

“Reading helps improve my mental health. It allows my brain a period of relaxation,” Gardner said. “I can have an adventure all from my bed.”

Day agreed that in times like these, reading offers a perfect escape.

“What got me into reading was the escape. It was an escape from reality and life,” Day said.