Lia Stevenson has rediscovered her love of reading


Lia stands in front of a river

Reading is one of those activities you either despise or love.

Over the years, sophomore Lia Stevenson has switched from one end of the spectrum to the other. She used to not enjoy reading, but over the past few years, her love of books has resurfaced and become one of the most prominent aspects of her life.

“I [read a lot] when I was really young, but then in eighth grade, I stopped reading [altogether],” Lia said. “I read almost zero books in 2020, and then I got back into reading in the summer of 2021. I just fell in love with it again. I think a big reason why I stopped reading a couple of years ago was that I felt like I had to read the most hardcore, boring books ever written that were in Middle English. I put a lot of pressure on myself to read difficult things, but I stopped, and I enjoy it more now.”

During quarantine, many students found new hobbies to pick up, and for Lia, that was no different. Afterward, her affinity for reading and literature only continued to flourish. Even within her busy schedule, she always finds time for books and takes comfort in what she enjoys most.

Even when it can be challenging to balance extracurriculars, homework, and the tedious work that comes with everyday life, Lia always seeks chances to read.

”I normally read at night for a couple of hours, and I don’t really watch TV and do social media, even though I have it because I’m reading more often,” Lia said, “but I normally have a hard time falling asleep so I can read for a few hours every night. I [also] read whenever I have the time. If I’m in a waiting room or something, I normally read; if I have five minutes of free time, I’ll just read. I have a Kindle I got for $18 on eBay. It was the best purchase of my life, and I carry that with me in my purse, ao I can really read whenever and wherever.”

Although Lia has now stopped reading mostly advanced novels, she still finds sanctity in the classics and the alternate reality of peace that they provide.

“I really like the escapism [reading] has; you can almost get transported into a different world,” Lia said. “A lot of times, I enjoy reading classic books, and I love the writing styles and exploring them.”

She also enjoys both analyzing and annotating books as it helps her gain a deeper understanding of the story and view new perspectives on subjects within it. Through her internal analysis and passion for stories, she has found friends and common ground with many people. 

Reading has helped contribute to her schoolwork and skills for in-depth analysis of books. Reading has become not just a hobby for Lia, but a way to forge relationships and share her opinions and thoughts freely with other people. 

“[Reading] is a big part of my personality,” Lia said. “Anyone who knows me knows how much I read, and how much I like reading. I feel like it has influenced a lot of aspects of my life. I make a lot of references to books that I’ve read. I’m able to talk about books other people have read, and a lot of times, if someone else is reading a book that I’ve read or am planning to read, I talk to them about it because I just like talking to people about books.”

[Reading] is a big part of my personality, anyone who knows me knows how much I read and how much I like reading.

— Lia Stevenson

Lia’s adept skills at both reading and writing have helped her with numerous school assignments and essays. She is even starting a website to share her opinions and analysis of books with anyone willing to listen.

She first got her inspiration for the site from English teacher Ken George as he noticed her extensive knowledge of books. He encouraged her to start the website and share her ideas and opinions with the school and the internet.

“I’m using HTML, CSS, and Java [for the website], and I’m making a bunch of different pages on it,” Lia said. “It will have different books that are commonly read for school, and it’ll be a summary of my thoughts on possible topics and angle ideas if someone’s writing a paper on it, [as well as] a basic rundown of the book as a whole.”

Lia went from someone who typically never read to now, a voracious reader who does deep dives into books and is even making a website on her own research of novels. The difference that a few years and a well-written book can make is extraordinary.

“Reading is really good, and if you say that you hate reading, you just haven’t found the right book,” Lia said. “There’s a book out there [for everybody]. I used to really hate reading until I started reading books that I liked and were interesting. I think everyone should get into reading, and a lot of people [might] say that they don’t have enough time to read, but I find that if you just take five minutes here and there to pick up a book, you’ll be able to find the time to read and explore new worlds.”