IN MY OWN LITTLE CORNER (MaryAnne Shults)
College students represent all facets of society, and each individual is as unique as the next. With all of the various types of people on a college campus come different ages, cultures, religions, sets of morals, and beliefs.
Sometimes judgments can be made by appearance or demeanor, but the depth with which an individual is gauged will usually yield the same depth of character. If students are investigated further beyond their clothing, hairstyle, or the cars they drive, one could obtain a better idea about who these students are.
There are many ways to tap into the inner-workings of students’ minds, whether it is through their choice of music, favorite movie, or hobbies. For the sake of keeping it academic, another way of keeping social tabs on students is the books that they read. There is only one question left unanswered: are there any females left who have found solace or entertainment in a book other than those of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series?
There are many genres to choose from when perusing the shelves of a bookstore, and it is safe to assume that most college campuses boast students with all types of preferences. Among the non-fiction mega-genre are hundreds of sub-genres including self-help, biography, educational, reference, business, and technology books.
Cara Zawacki, 21, nursing, found inspiration in the psychological biography “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through his Son’s Meth Addiction,” by David Sheff, who chronicled the harrowing struggle of addiction from a parent’s perspective.
Usually, though, fiction is an overwhelming favorite among students, with endless classic literary giants to choose from.
“I haven’t read any new books lately, but my all-time favorite is ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger,” said Micah MacInnis, 22, filmmaking. Sometimes books that are originally forced upon students as part of a curriculum can have a lasting impact.
Keturah Weathers, 21, undecided, also has a penchant for fictional literature.
“Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ is an all-time favorite,” said Weathers, “or anything by Chuck Palahniuk.”
Authors like Kerouac and Salinger have maintained influential status since their most famous titles were originally released—Kerouac posthumously—while Palahniuk, mostly noted for penning “Fight Club” and “Choke,” is a prime example of the next influential generation of fiction writers.
For J. Stebbins, 21, environmental science, fiction also does the trick. “I’ve been reading the hitchhiker’s guide books,” said Stebbins, referring to the series of science fiction novels written by Douglas Adams, of which the popular title “The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” was adapted into a feature film.
Another favorite of Stebbins’ is author Christopher Moore’s “Fool,” which accompanies a slew of other humorous fiction novels written by Moore including “Practical Demonkeeping,” “A Dirty Job,” “You Suck: A Love Story,” and “The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove,” among others.
It seems, due to the heavy burden of expensive textbooks most students have on their shoulders, that recreational reading is often reserved for entertainment. A great literary treasure can take the readers out of their environment and transplant them into another setting. The escape is thus often the best part about reading fiction.
Although fictional literature is one of the greatest gifts given to any generation, it is merely a few trees in the forest of information and insight that has flowed from the minds of humankind. Be encouraged to seek out titles that spark interest; non-fiction books referred by friends and like-minded individuals can be surprisingly entertaining, and usually broaden personal horizons.
Lucky for everyone, there are more authors available to read than anyone will ever be able to keep up with in a lifetime. The hard part is continuing to explore the vast library of exceptional writers once a favorite has been identified.