Beginners Guide to Loving Reading

Isabel Paez, Reporter

Reading, you either love it or you hate it.

If you hate it, keep reading on to see how you could learn to love to read and some ways to get started.

The most common response that students give when asked why they don’t read or don’t like to read is that’s its too boring or they can’t sit still long enough to keep reading on. So, who better to give advice on how to overcome these obstacles than some members of North High’s English Department?

Here are their solutions to these common issues.

“My advice that I would give everyone who wants to become a reader is to not be afraid to abandon books that don’t grab your attention.  If a book doesn’t have you hooked by the first 30 pages, stop reading it and find something else!  Everyone is a reader; they just have to find the one book that will hook them!” advised Emily Tanner, the literacy chair for North High’s leadership team.

Mrs. Compton, one Co-chair of the English department comments that

“All of the North High English teachers are passionate (nerds!) about reading. Help is an email away… In addition to reaching out to the resident book nerds at North High, I highly recommend reading with friends: we could all use a little more community in our lives! And one final piece of advice: listening to books is reading, and it’s a great way to discover the world of reading, especially for those who have had a hard time getting into a book the traditional sit-still-and-read way.”

If you’re interested in starting to read recreationally but can’t find the motivation to do so, a great way to begin is by participating in a reading challenge, there are hundreds but here are some to help you dip your feet in.

Goodreads reading challenge – A website where you can set your own goals for how many books you want to read in a year, keep track of your progress along the way. Found here at

Storygraph reading challenge – Similar to Goodreads but you can also choose to set a goal of page numbers and it offers more analytical data of the books you read. Found here at

ReadICT – A challenge offered through the Wichita Public Libraries; you must be at least 18 to be eligible for prizes but you can still follow along if you are younger. The goal is to read one book a month based on the 12 categories, reading one from each. The categories may not be what you expect. You can find them here at

If none of these interest you, you can find many more at , scroll through and find one that fits your own tastes.

And as suggested by Mrs. Compton, students could always start reading with a group and impose your own challenges.

Now, you might be thinking “Okay, I know which challenge I want to do but I don’t know what books to begin with”, look no further than suggestions from some of the biggest readers at North.

Coming from Co-chairs of the English Department Lara Engle and Erin Compton are some book recommendation that will grab your attention.

Mrs. Engle recommends

“For people who like fantasy with a diverse cast of characters, there a new series by Andrea Stewart called The Drowning Empire series. The first book (which is the only one out so far) is called The Bone Shard Daughter. It’s adventurous, dramatic, and also includes a little romance.”

And for those that enjoy books with a little social commentary

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid tells us the story of Amira, a young Black nanny for a wealthy white family in Philadelphia. One night when she’s at a party, her boss calls her and asks her to take their daughter out for a while to get her away from a dramatic situation at their house. While Amira has the little girl at the grocery store, she is accused of kidnapping the girl. The rest of the book starts to unravel the complicated relationships between the family, Amira, her friends, and a man she meets at the grocery store.”

Mrs. Engle also houses the Rainbow Library of 10 new LGBTQ books North received from GLSEN until the end of the year in room F105 for those that would like to come check them out.

Mrs. Compton recommends

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s nonfiction, but don’t let that scare you off. It’s written for artists, and I see a lot of those walking around North High. It will give you life.”


“ a feminist Western set in the late 19th century called Outlawed by Anna North. It was a great read—funny, meaningful, and quick-paced. The story provided a fun escape and the topic would provoke a lot of discussion about being a woman then and now.”

Suggestions from Mrs. Tanner are listed below.

North High Library AND Wichita Public Library

  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L Sanchez
  • The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
  • Allegedly by Tiffani D. Jackson
  • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Monster: Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • Caged Warrior by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • Homeboyz by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz
  • Internment Samira Ahmed
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
  • Sold by Patricia McCormick


Wichita Public Library only right now

  • Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Grenade by Alan Gratz
  • Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
  • Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson


You can find more recommendations at Twitter @ProjectLITComm, Instagram @ProjectLITComm, and Facebook @projectlitcommunity, where great titles for young adults are posted.

“I would like the students of North to know that reading doesn’t have to be a chore! Reading can be great entertainment and can open up the world to us.  I love putting books into the hands of students here at North and believe that English teachers should give their students time to find books that they like and give them the time read these books. “  said Mrs. Tanner.

Good luck North High and happy reading!