As it becomes colder with the winter season finally here, it would be amazing to be able to curl up in bed with a warm blanket and relax. The perfect thing to compliment these cozy times is to settle down with a good book and get lost in the world of imagination.

“I love reading during the holidays,” freshman Brinly Rautenkranz said. “I think reading expands your mind and helps keep you away from your electronics. Friends and family make this time of year more fun because you have someone to enjoy it with.”

Stories to Start off the Christmas Season

Reading during the holidays is considered a great way to get closer to loved ones and enjoy this time of year. Settling down with some Christmas books can always create the perfect start to the season.

“We have a tradition in my family of reading The Night Before Christmas before dinner on Christmas night,” sophomore McKnight Welzbacher said. “I also read some classics with my 4-year-old sister. The Grinch, The Polar Express, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are some of our favorites.”

These classics are always a fun read with the family. However, one might want to enjoy a brand new story full of new characters and experiences, instead of hearing the same one every year.

“There’s A Shiloh Christmas that is on display that if nobody checks it out, I’m going to take,” Media Assistant Julie Hayford said. “It’s a really cute book about the relationship between a dog and its owner and has the moral of appreciating what you have instead of chasing after what you can’t have.”

Books to Get Lost In

While enjoying these Christmas tales, there are also plenty of stories that shouldn’t be missed out on even if they are not Christmas related. They can still bring joy, sorrow, and anger like any other tale.

“The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is by far my favorite series,” Welzbacher said. “I will always recommend We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, [the] best ending I’ve ever read. Crescent City is another series by Sarah J. Maas that I adore. It’s a new series so there’s only one book out so far. I’m currently reading a series called Aurora’s Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, another exceptional series.”

“I have so many favorite books, and it’s not really fair for me to choose one,” Hayford said. “I adore really popular series like The Fifth Wave, Twilight, Divergent, and even The Hunger Games because I really get a kick out of them.”

Stores and Finding the Perfect Book

Any book that piques an interest can be found at stores like Barnes & Noble or Anderson’s Bookshop. They can even be found in online stores such as Amazon or eBay.

However, Collier County Public Schools and the Media Center have an app called Sora. Here, students can find many books recommended by the district and search any book by title, author, or genre and see if it’s available in the school library.

“We also have our Sora App,” Hayford said. “If you go on to your courses, every student should have ‘Media Center’ listed there. When you click on Media Center, it’s going to take you to our catalog so that you can research whether we have the author [and] book that you want. Underneath that, there’s another tab that has the Sora App so that you can read on your laptop or your phone. It’s really unlimited. If there’s something you were just really wanting to read, we will order in just about anything.”

There is also the Likewise App, which can find any book that students might be interested in based on their favorite genres and books that were read before. It’s even helpful with finding TV shows and movies in the same way.

The Joy in Reading

Cozying up and reading favorite books can be very relaxing and stress-relieving. This is exactly why it can be so easy to get distracted in the world of imagination.

“I love being able to sit down and read a book from start to finish without having to worry about school or homework,” Welzbacher said. “It also means I can stay up late into the night reading, which is even more fun than reading during the day. This time of year can be stressful with traveling and seeing family, but with COVID, it’s amped up the stress levels. So it’s really nice being able to take time to myself and forget about everything, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.”

It can become a very difficult task to stray away from a book when the author makes the world feel alive and real.

“I adore the ways that some authors write because they write in a way where they create their own worlds, their own versions of what’s happening,” Hayford said. “They make it so believable that you just get invested in the characters and the story.”

With this believability, the world becomes real and feels as if it’s right in front of the reader.

“You’re not just reading about a far off land or another dimension,” Welzbacher said. “You’re right there along with the characters. These books are able to take ink and paper and turn it into a movie inside your head. You kind of forget you’re reading words at some point, they just sorta turn into images in your mind.”