The importance of reading or the importance of breathing.

To me, both are equally as vital. It is unbelievable the benefits your brain receives from reading. Not just to make you “book-smart,” but to give you a better view of the world, help settle a restless mind, give you clarity and perspective – all while helping you become a better speller, writer and speaker.

The benefits of reading are endless, truly they are. I could go on all day, but I will narrow it down to the best advantages you can gain from reading often, reading regularly, even just reading sometimes.

The more you read, the more knowledge you absorb. Knowledge is pretty important in all aspects of life. Children who enjoy reading not only do better in language and literacy subjects, but in many other subjects as well. Reading books ensures you are exposed to vocabulary on different topics, meaning you hear and learn words or phrases which you may not hear otherwise in your day to day life.

Even more importantly, reading stimulates a thirst for knowledge. It leads to questions about the book and the information within. It gives you a chance to discover what is happening and use this as a learning experience.

However, it’s not all about developing knowledge. Reading develops your imagination and creativity. One of the great benefits of reading is simply growing your own mind. When we really engage in a book we imagine what the characters are doing. We imagine the setting as reality. Dying to discover what is going to happen in a book is one of the most amazing things to experience while reading. However, before we discover – we imagine our own scenario. Whether it is what the author wrote or not, it gives us the opportunity to be imaginative and creative.

Additionally, reading is fun. I’m serious – it is! With so much technology these days, it is difficult not to get caught up in all the hype of it all. TV, Video games, smart phones and apps are popular amongst us all. However, reading a good book can be just as entertaining, usually even more. With all of the negative effects of screen time, choosing a book that interests you is definitely a better option.

The thing about books – is they are they only if you want them. There isn’t a team of technology-whizz-kids sitting in a room trying to figure out how to get you to sign up to read books. There isn’t a marketing team trying to persuade you into purchasing an addiction to reading. Those things only exist for TV series, apps, video games and other addictions that don’t actually help you in any way.

Reading books is an individual and unaided task. There is no auto-play technology delivering you from one chapter of the novel you’re reading to the next. There is only you, alone in the silence of your room with a chapter before you and your phone buzzing at you from the dresser. But in book after book, if you do push on through one chapter, and then to the chapter after that, something amazing happens. You become addicted. You become hungry to know what happens next. You enjoy yourself more than sitting back and staring at a screen. You gain knowledge, imagination and language skills – all while having an absolute ball. Need I say anymore? Hopefully not – I’m off to finish my book.

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. What do you think the most important benefits of reading are? How will these help you later in life?
  2. Are there any disadvantages from reading a lot?
  3. Who are some famous people you can find who attribute their success to reading a lot?

Practical Thinking Questions:

  1. Decide the number of books you want to read before 2020. There are enough months left to read seven books if you read one a month. Enough weeks left to read 33 books if you read one a week. Enough days left to read 231 if you read a book a day!
  2. Write a list of all the books you want to read before 2019.

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