Why Reading Matters

posted in: Thoughts on Reading | 0

We all learn in different ways. Without realizing it, learning something new every day is inevitable. For
me, I go out of my way to find new things to read, just because I love to learn.

Some of the greatest experiences in my life revolved around the questions my daughter, Elizabeth, had
asked of me and how we chose to find the answers. Almost without exception, we chose to either open
a book or go online to find the answer together. I learned almost as much as my daughter by doing this,
and she learned the importance of reading.

Have you ever met a person who gets all of their information from social media? Many people today
have become used to reading about current events or new things in snippets. We are slowly being
programmed to not dig deeper to learn more about things in our world. Even schools are no longer
requiring books to read in their entirety. For many, sitting down and reading a book has become passé.
It’s almost as if it is becoming too much trouble to learn about new things on our own.

I love to read, and not just because I want to be entertained. I read because I have an insatiable desire
to learn something new about almost everything. I even keep trivia books by my bedside so I can read
about things that might never have occurred to me to know.

One of the proudest events in my life was when my daughter gave me a book for my birthday. She was
seven years old. Elizabeth had gone to a local bookstore and spent the time it took to find something I
might like. The book she picked was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This story was picked
because she knew that I loved science-fiction and fantasy stories. We had spent many an hour reading
children’s books that centered around animals and people with magical powers. Elizabeth went through
the fantasy section of the bookstore reading the backs of the book covers to find something we both
might enjoy. There is no way to explain how thrilled I was to receive this gift. The best part for me was
when Elizabeth had told me to read it right away so she could read it afterwards. She wanted to talk
about the story together when she was finished. We then repeated this again and again, with one book
after another.

Reading allows us to learn new things without the need to have other’s give their slant to a story.
Instead of assuming that what others are saying is correct, we can discover the facts and where they
originated on our own. This lesson was taught to me by my Mom and passed on by me to my daughter.

Reading is one of the most important things in my life. Not because it is easy, not because it is
necessary, but because learning new things makes me happy. And, isn’t that what life is all about?

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