The Joy of Reading

June 17th, 2009

The art of reading has become just that, a dying art. No one seems interested in reading nowadays. Such is the impact of social media forms like the Internet, Facebook and video capturing the minds of the young; it’s hardly surprising that reading comes way down on the list of things to do.

‘The Times’ newspaper in the UK has published a report by the former head of Ofsted in response to concerns that children here are suffering from ‘word poverty’, being unable to string a proper sentence together before they start school. Other studies have noted that children from poor backgrounds have smaller vocabularies and less abstract ideas.

Now while it is unfair to assume that anyone from a poorer background is disadvantaged in this way. It is fair to say that anybody irrespective of their upbringing can pull themselves up by learning to read and learning to read well. It is one of the best gifts a parent can give to their child and it yields many benefits some of which are listed below:-

1) One of the best ways to educate yourself is through reading; you may not be fortunate enough to go to a university, or private school. However if you can read, you can have access to information and insight into areas that you once thought was beyond you. Famous self taught people such as Robert Burns, and Charles Dickens have risen to prominence and have left behind great legacies, partly because they educated themselves through reading.

2) Read and read widely, everything from the classics to poetry, websites, magazines, leaflets, blogs, twitters even adverts. It’s still reading and it will help you to expand your vocabulary as well as your spelling.

3) Reading aids comprehension, the ability to understand what you read. Developing good reading skills at an early age will perfect this. Being able to read well means that you will have no problem understanding manuals, contracts, benefit forms and other important documents in later life.

4) Reading allows you to exercise your mental powers of creativity. Often your imagination runs riot when reading a fiction book as your mind conjures up images of alternative endings and how scenes should be played out. If the book is then adapted into a film or play. It can be a big disappointment as it usually bares no resemblance to your ‘movie script’ which was so much better and more exciting and that is the beauty of reading the places it can take you to in your mind.

5) Reading improves your communication and writing skills.

6) If you have difficulty concentrating for any length of time. Try reading something of interest as reading compels you to focus.

7) Reading allows you to develop critical thinking skills and allows you to make decisions for yourself.

So there it is, reading has many benefits and those that can tap into those benefits from an early age will certainly reap the rewards later on.

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