home d.tech life Feel Guilty for Not Reading? Meet Bookeater Jocelyn McHugo

Feel Guilty for Not Reading? Meet Bookeater Jocelyn McHugo

Remi Tateishi | rtateishi19@dtechhs.org | June 14, 2018
Photo by Remi Tateishi

One book a week?  No one reads as much as sophomore Jocelyn McHugo. On the train, waiting for the shuttle, during PAB, lunch, and any other time where she can prop open a book—she is always found reading. Classmate Jane Wang, said, “I know a few people who read a lot too, but Jocelyn is definitely the biggest reader I know.” McHugo also reads at a very fast pace. McHugo has finished roughly 20 books since January. However, larger books such as Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton can take up to two months.

McHugo’s love for reading began several years ago during her elementary school days. She explained, “When I was in first grade or second grade I started reading Harry Potter with my mom. She’d read three pages and I’d read two sentences every day, but one day, when she was at work, I wanted to know what happened next in the story, so I just started reading it myself and I couldn’t stop.”

McHugo’s favorite book genres are sci-fi and fantasy. She does not have one particular favorite book or author because she has too many favorites. Usually, her favorite book changes depending on the day of the week, but she believes that Harry Potter is a “pretty good” classic. James S.A. Corey, a group of two fantasy writers, is an author that has caught her attention lately. McHugo explains, “They write these giant sci-fi books and there’s a new one every year. It’s crazy, but the way they write them… something about it… it just doesn’t feel like a 1,000 paged sci-fi novel because it doesn’t take that long to read, and it’s interesting the whole way through. There’s no long boring stretch of background stuff.”

McHugo recently finished Tuf Voyaging, a book by world-famous author George R. R. Martin who is widely known for his hit series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. McHugo loved the book, and finished it in a week. She says, “I thought the book was really really cool. The story takes place in space, but it also has a lot of moral and ethical values and concepts that apply to real life, and also, the character development of the main character was incredible. It was awesome.”

McHugo’s English teacher, Teri Hu, recommended the book. Hu explained how she resonates with McHugo’s love for reading as she was also a voracious reader at McHugo’s age. McHugo’s reading skills manifest in her work for English class. Hu states, “I always look forward to a strong reader’s writing because reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills.”

While a lot of high schoolers find reading an ordeal, for McHugo, it is a comforting activity that she thoroughly enjoys. The ability to create her own visuals of a story using her imagination and creativity is another reason for her love of reading. “Reading isn’t like watching TV or a movie where everything is just there and you stare at a screen that tells you everything. When you read, you get to add in the little details yourself, like what a character looks like or what a certain scenario is, and I mean, sometimes those kinds of perceptions get taken apart later by the author, but it’s still cool to watch, read, and create parts of a story all at the same time.” Jocelyn prefers reading with, “a book in my hands because it’s nice, and I also have an excuse to go into the library.” She is reminding us of the ‘simple and slow’ way like the good old times to entertain ourselves with a good book. Nothing to do this weekend? Why not get lost in a fantasy world that your mind creates in collaboration with renowned authors. Search out McHugo—she has great recommendations for every taste and interest.

One thought on “Feel Guilty for Not Reading? Meet Bookeater Jocelyn McHugo

  1. Thank you for highlighting something that (ironically) doesn’t get a lot of attention in school: the sheer joy of reading for pure pleasure.

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