There are so many reasons to read books, during every stage of life, and to be honest, we can’t think of one good reason not to. A person that reads on a regular basis has so many advantages over one that doesn’t, and it becomes rather obvious when a person enjoys reading when compared to someone that doesn’t.
Books widen your vocabulary, they improve your cognitive skills, they help you with grammar, spelling, and punctuation, they expand your view of the world, they stimulate your imagination; the reasons for surrounding yourself in books is endless.
For college students, books can also be a source of relaxation and just immersing themselves in a different world for a while, and that has many psychological and cognitive advantages; it opens their mind to other things besides their college life and it can inspire them in their own college work.
For this list we have thought of 10 books that we think are excellent for college students; they will make you think and reflect and they challenge you intellectually, leaving you always with a lesson that you might want to apply in your life, even though those teachings are not always so obvious and clear-cut. In many cases, it’s right there between the lines.
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Nothing like realizing that life is completely different than what you thought it was when you were in college, protected from the reality behind those walls. A Princeton student feels disillusioned with life after graduation and now has to find his true self again before he can fulfill his goals.
1984 by George Orwell
This is Big Brother taken to the extreme. Three totalitarian states, living under complete control, while eliminating human values. The world is full of hatred and the real struggle is remain an individual and not lose your identity; even love is under the microscope.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Finding his place in his life brings so much confusion he ends up killing two people while trying to justify in his soul his actions. Raskolnikov, the main character, is a college student who rethinks his views towards moral laws and place in society.
A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Happiness vs. individuality is the dilemma posed in this novel, described as “a negative utopia” where people being happy is the ultimate goal, but often sacrificing their individual traits. For those in their early adulthood that read this classic, the question is if they should just accept things the way they are or is it worth it to try and fight the system?
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
This story of an entire dynasty, where love is fatal and in the end, we realize that everyone is going down the same path of inevitable loneliness, but that path doesn’t have to be. It describes the importance of family and friendship that will go with you as far as life will take them.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The story of a slave trying to escape to freedom, while another is on his way to a new life. A controversial period of American history is displayed in this book in an elegant yet raw way. It can help younger people understand the values and principles of the USA and how they have evolved since then.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
A family moving to California during the great depression, it highlights the importance of love, support and people close to you. It shows how a person needs to be brave and resilient so that they can survive and roll with the punches in hard times.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A story about growing up in the south, a girl going through adventures, fun, and relationships with peers. Life teaches her that it can be unfair to people, like kids, the weaker or those with a different colored skin. But also that kindness, sympathy, and support depend on a basic element inside everyone; their soul, not their social status, color or public opinion.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A divides society doesn’t necessarily need to be led by adults or even be set in a country. Something as small as a deserted island where a group of boys without supervision just landed by accident is enough to showcase the importance of good leadership, where things like critical thinking, a clear mind and finding compromises are paramount, but first of all, stay human.
The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama
A set of interviews with the Dalai Lama were the bases for attaining fulfillment and happiness in life is almost required reading for any college student. Understanding that there is more to life than a career and other things we might consider important, but in reality are just add-ons.