The Importance of Reading by Bryony Pearce
Image from Author Website
At its most basic essential need, reading is important because without it everyday life would be almost impossible. From signs to menus, bills, bank statements and letters reading is everywhere and without the ability to read, you are kept from a whole world, not only of opportunity, but of communication with your fellow man. You are isolated.
But the importance of reading is not only a case of highlighting the importance of literacy, but also the importance of being able to read books. Without reading, books are nothing more than pulped firewood.
Yet books are educational – you can learn from books, you can learn facts and figures, but you can also learn ways of thinking, philosophies that can open your eyes – ideas like democracy and the rights of (wo)man. You can learn about other people, how they feel, speak, act, what they wear and that they are not so different after all. You can learn how to build wells, or make light, or fix an engine.
You can also learn how to write, or how not to – the ways that writers use prose shows you how to use rhetoric, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Books are inspirational – you can get ideas from books, ideas for your own creative endeavours, ideas for games or a business plan
Books are escapism – you can get away from your ordinary life and visit other countries, other worlds, other dimensions, you can go to space or under the sea. You can travel while staying at home.
Books are relaxing – reading is good for you, it lowers the heart rate, reduces anxiety, helps insomiacs sleep and helps pass stressful times.
Books are engaging – when you read you use parts of your brain that are not engaged when you turn on the television or x-box. Books make you think and use yourimagination. Reading is not a passive activity, but an active one, reading is a co-operative action between you and the author of your book. Her words + your imagination.
A recent study has shown that teenagers who read at least once a month FOR FUN are ‘significantly’ more likely to progress to a professional or managerial position than those who did not read. For boys in the study, there was a 58% probability that they would be in a managerial position at 33 if they were reading at 16. In other wordsreading for fun, leads to success. Teens who read for fun score better on tests for spelling, vocabulary, empathy and public speaking.
To fail to read is a failure of community, a failure of your humanity and it is to fail yourself.
Image from Goodreads