The Importance of Outside Reading

By Rick Dickson


Whatever your curriculum, reading beyond school assignments is extremely important, especially material that is related to a subject or subjects you are studying. It will deepen your understanding and knowledge, enable you to contribute more in classroom discussion and may well be very helpful in an interview if an admissions officer were to ask you, ”Do you like to read?” We realize that fitting outside reading in can be difficult given your schedule of schoolwork, sports and other extracurricular activities, but reading will make you a more interesting person, expand your knowledge and increase your standardized test scores. Some colleges ask on their applications about reading you have done for pleasure.

We have developed a reading list of fiction and non-fiction, that enables the reader to experience the English language at a high level, while concurrently illuminating how people think, what they most care about, and what they feel. Without doubt, great writers develop from readers of great literature. And great works of literature not only develop a stronger vocabulary and an internal sense of the rhythms of great writing, but also increase one’s empathy with others and develop greater emotional maturity.

If your workload does not allow you enough time to read additional books, we strongly suggest you try to read newspapers, weekly news magazines and/or their respective websites; not only will such reading expose you regularly to good writing, it will make you more aware of what is going on in the world. Our favorite publications, based on the quality of their writing and their general appeal, include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated.

Summers and vacations are a time, no matter what your activity might be, when you should be reading as much as possible, anything to engage your reading abilities. Every college likes candidates who like to read for pleasure, and especially those who like to dig out information in a field that interests them. Take advantage of your summers to relax but also to grow intellectually and as a person.

The bottom line here is simply this: READING IS BENEFICIAL FOR EVERYONE. READ MORE! If you would like to receive a copy of our Reading List, click on the “Contact” button or the mail icon below.