POV: The End

By Joss Broward

“One more chapter!” I exclaimed to my father. He had finished our nightly reading and, as always, he ended on a cliffhanger.

In elementary school, I loved reading. Every night, my dad read to me before bed, a practice I credit for inspiring me to read an array of books for hours during any given week. During book-time, I imagined myself flying through the sky on top of Simber’s wings in “The Unwanteds,” solving puzzles alongside Reynie Muldoon in “The Mysterious Benedict Society” and competing in the Triwizard Tournament in “Harry Potter.” Reading allowed me to journey into new worlds and learn about diverse perspectives and topics, which persuaded me to put excessive amounts of time into the hobby.

Frequently, my mom and I used to browse through the library together, where I would amass a large

A CLOSED CHAPTER: As a young child, I enjoyed reading books and visiting the Sunnyvale City Library with my mom. However, the time and imagination I expended on literature was replaced when I received a phone. (Photo courtesy of Joss Broward)

collection of books I wanted to read. The assemblage of literature usually got refined with the help of my mom, who knew I didn’t have the commitment to actually read all of the books I picked out. Nonetheless, I maintained a passion for reading all throughout elementary school.

However, this attachment to books did not last forever. Now, reading is something I rarely do outside of schoolwork. Some days, I will find myself picking up a book, only to be distracted by something else a few minutes later.

This ‘something else’ – my phone – was the primary reason I stopped reading. Up until middle school, I was forbidden from owning one, but when I started walking to school every day, my parents decided it was time I received the device.

Similar to when I discovered the magic of books as a young child, an entirely new stream of content was opened up to me when I got a phone. Having this device showed me various stories in an easier, quicker way that made reading seem boring by comparison. The hours of time I used to spend making connections with literature, advancing my reading comprehension and thoroughly learning about niche topics dissipated, replaced by minutes, hours and even days wasted in a sea of vapid Youtube videos and meaningless Twitter threads. I was no longer satisfied with reading, as my phone could provide more eye-catching and addicting entertainment.

Still, my room is filled with bookshelves lined with an assortment of books that have not been opened in years. Although I don’t know if I will ever be able to regain the same drive I once had for reading, I still hope to one day rediscover the ability to read for fun. Simply put, books have the ability to provoke imagination, something that scrolling mindlessly on my phone will never provide.