Books I'm Glad I Read in School

By The Reading Room CLE

By The Reading Room CLE

All of the Above

Shelley Pearsall

$8.00 $7.36

There are so many reasons I remember this book so fondly. I read this book in seventh grade, and my teacher went above and beyond with lesson plans. The story is set in Cleveland, and I had never, nor have I since, read anything set here. Pearsall even came to speak at my school while we were reading her book, and that was the first time I can remember considering writing, editing, or anything creative as a viable career option. Nothing but the warm fuzzies from this one.

Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare

$6.99 $6.43

This was the first non-comedy by Shakespeare I had ever read, and I had absolutely no expectations of enjoying it. My teacher (the same one who unfortunately assigned Into Thin Air) was incredible, though, and I found the language easier to read and the story more interesting every act. I was (am) also whole-heartedly convinced that Brutus and Cassius had a romantic relationship, and you couldn’t (can’t) convince me otherwise.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare

$6.99 $6.43

Yes, another Shakespearean play. This one I read in my freshman year of college, and it was not at all what I expected. My class was able to attend a performance of the play at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which easily made up for a not-so-great lecture. Though walking a mile in Chicago snow wasn’t ideal, the play was one of the funniest stage performances I have ever seen.

Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies


Before my first year of college, I only thought of philosophy as an impossible subject and thing my parents definitely did not want me to major in. When I read this book in my first year honors seminar, I found myself following along and enjoying Descartes’ philosophical logic and reasoning. My professor was also 5 feet tall, had purple hair, and lectured barefoot sitting cross-legged on a table, so that was pretty cool. Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, I’m still not changing my major (yet).

Collected Fictions

Jorge Luis Borges

$25.00 $23.00

Of all the books on this list, this is definitely the one I would be least likely to choose for myself. I have very little experience with short story anthologies, and Borges’ writing is dense as all heck. Still though, I found myself looking forward to reading this after class was over, or wishing I could read this when I was doing other homework. Reading “The Library of Babel” in the window seat of a Megabus from Cleveland to Chicago seated next to a stranger I knew I would never see again was easily one of the most liminal things I have ever experienced.