I’m sure you’ve all read the phrase “this should be required reading for” a certain group in reviews. I’m sure I’m guilty of using it. But lately I’ve been disliking it when I read it. Because I hate required reading. I don’t think that anyone should be forced to read anything, because, honestly, that takes a lot of the joy out of it. I, a voracious reader, am sometimes guilty of not reading books for English class and instead using Sparknotes (and here’s to hoping my English teacher doesn’t somehow come upon this and read it…) to get the info necessary for the assignments.
There should be no required reading. If I don’t want to read Siddhartha or Things Fall Apart, I shouldn’t have to. And for the record, I hated both of those so-called great literary masterpieces. Why should English teachers get to decide what’s worth reading and what’s not? We all have different tastes in books, that’s why there are so many different types of books published! Not that the “classics” don’t have their place, but talk to lots of English teachers and you’d think they were the only things worth reading. So, so not true.
No one book should be required reading. I won’t try to force anyone else to read the latest from Holly Black or Rachel Cohn, and in return it would be nice if I wasn’t forced to read Beowulf or The Scarlet Letter.