For the Love of Books

I believe in the power of books. I believe in the power of reading. I believe that children who read are better equipped to succeed in life. Why? Let’s break it down:

  • Books can teach us pretty much anything — from philosophical ideas to how many species of bugs there are. Have an interest? There’s a book about it. Want to learn a skill? There’s a book about it. Want to discover new ways of doing something? There’s a book about it.
  • Books can broaden our minds, help us think outside the box, put ourselves in other people’s shoes, and show us new possibilities. Fiction, memoir, and biography all help us step out of our own skin and into another’s. And this helps us see new perspectives.
  • Fiction can teach children empathy, social skills, problem solving, and more. Witnessing character interactions can help demonstrate how they should — or should not — act in particular scenarios. Reading about children like themselves in precarious situations can help them figure out solutions to situations they may find themselves in, as well.
  • Once you learn how to read, you never stop learning. Every time you read something you learn something new, even if it’s something as trivial as the number of vitamins and minerals in your breakfast cereal. And that means your mind is constantly expanding, taking in new tidbits of knowledge that can snowball into grand ideas and new skills.

Yet, despite all these amazing benefits, a surprising number of children aren’t interested in reading. And a surprising number of parents aren’t concerned about it — because they aren’t interested in reading, either. Why not?

My theory is that, as with the potential snowball of grand ideas, apathy can snowball into genuine disinterest or even dislike. Children who aren’t shown the power and excitement of reading turn into adults who aren’t interested in reading — who in turn raise children who aren’t excited about reading, and the cycle continues. At the same time, parents who get excited about reading, and demonstrate this excitement to their children, raise children who love to read.

OK, this is all fine and dandy. But where am I going with this?

Well, I believe that if more children were taught to love reading, and were exposed to more books, magazines, etc., that the world would be a better place. Why? For all the reasons cited above. Children would be more open-minded, tolerant, hungry for knowledge, and equipped to help others. They would be in a better position to be successful in life, which means they would be less likely to fall into poverty, crime, and unproductive lives. Just think if this happened on a broad scale. Could it change the world? I think so.

And so I started this blog. And, soon, I hope to create an accompanying website that will further expand on literacy, offer suggestions to encourage reading, and tips to expose kids to more reading material. And, for those who are already passionate about books, I hope to offer reading lists, suggestions, and guidance to keep that passion alive.

It may be a grandiose plan, but I love to read! And, following my logic above, the more I read, the more I learn — and the more grand ideas I’m likely to develop. So here goes my grand plan. Now let’s get kids reading!