Reading and Friendship: Shruti’s Story

An interest in books that starts during childhood can lead to much more than academic success. Teenage volunteer Shruti Vadlakonda reveals how a love of reading resulted in friendships that would help her navigate middle school.

Think about how you’ve met your closest friends.

Mostly for me, I’ve become friends with someone because we’ve shared common interests. Through our common interests, it became easier to talk with one another and become very close — enough to become best friends! And surprisingly, most of my long-lasting friendships were made through a common interest in books.

Books are magnificent little things. Though they may just seem like a bundle of paper with words scribbled across them, these words have the ability to change one’s mood, enhance one’s knowledge, and provide one perspective. Through books, you can imagine yourself as a fairy, a warrior, a princess, or a soldier. The possibilities are endless. But who would’ve thought that books could create friendships?

Going to middle school, I was exposed to a lot of new things. It happens when you go to a different school: new surroundings, new people, and new experiences. And new people means you have a chance to make new friends.

I met a lot of my closest friends through our shared love of books. It was usually the main topic in our conversations, and it allowed me to become really close with them. Take my seventh-grade year, for example, where an already close friend and I bonded even more over our love for the Lunar Chronicles series.

Another example was during my eighth-grade year. I distinctly remember my first day of eighth grade, entering my Spanish class. I knew only a handful of people and I couldn’t really enjoy the class since I didn’t have a lot of friends. But then, I met this girl.

We both sparked a small conversation and discovered that we both really enjoyed books. Soon, it became our main topic of conversation and she decided to even lend me her favorite book: Six of Crows. Not only did I find my new all-time favorite book, but I also found a best friend.

Books are truly magical. It is important that everyone in the world should have the experience of reading a good book and enjoying it. There truly is nothing else in the world that matches the wonderful feeling of reading a great book. And who knows? Maybe, you can build a long-lasting friendship through your love and appreciation for books.

Check out some book recommendations for children 9-12 and young adults. Want to share a story about how books and reading have positively impacted you? Submit a guest blog here.
Reading and Friendship: Shruti’s Story
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