To Read or Not To Read, that is Always the Question
I read a lot of books. Our new library - you remember libraries, right? Those are the buildings in your local community that offer books to anyone with a library card, and also invite people to sit in their cozy nooks to read right there, rather than trudge home with a favorite tome. In Colorado, our library had a beautiful stone fireplace, and several comfy chairs to lounge in.
Back to my story, our new library is quaint and inviting. The women who work there are local folks who always have a smile on their faces. The library offers older titles for sale. The sale is 3 books for $5. Both hard cover and paper back.
We love stocking up on books from our library. Our $5 or $10 purchases aren't much, but they're regular. We go at least once a month.
Oh, in the summer, the library has a small shed out back and you can go fill up a bag with as many books as you can, for only $5. We've gotten very good at putting 10 or more books in our bag. It's similar to a grocery bag.
I suppose the library ladies wonder why we always buy books, rather than use our library card to take books out and then return them when we're done.
I sometimes wonder the same thing. We didn't buy books in Colorado. The library there didn't give us the option.
Pleasing the Hoarder Inside
And, our book cases are rather overflowing. Our children think we're hoarders.
When I casually mentioned to one daughter that she would inherit all of our wonderful books, she responded with a clear message, "I'll get the bonfire started now."
No, I don't think the children will burn the books. I think they will donate them. To a homeless shelter, perhaps. I see a good many ideas online, suggesting where to donate used books.
I do know that we have not yet risen to the level of hoarding. All the books fit into bookcases quite nicely. We don't have books stacked up all over the house.
Yes, we often buy new bookcases to put the books in, but I'm proud to say we have not purchased a book case in some time. In fact, we're talking about putting a box or two of books together to donate. To someone. Or something. Like a homeless shelter. I hear they need books.
If we are hoarders, we are doing a very good job of hiding it. Our house is neat and clean and while we do have books and bookcases in every room, except the bathroom... there's a thought...a bookcase in the bathroom...hmmmm... we are still not hoarders.
The library is a great place to take kids, also. Did you know that? Many libraries have weekly events just for kids. They have kids corners. Where kids can read to each other or have an adult read out loud to them. Reading out loud to children is amazing. They love it. It prepares them for the future, where reading will become a necessary activity. Plus, it often gives them a sense of joy.
The joy of reading. The joy of books.
What better tool can you give a child today?
The future depends on the ability to read. I'm serious, here. Readers are leaders. Or, is that, Leaders are Readers?
Tom Collins, my husband, wrote a book that has just been published, called, Read 'Em & Reap: 6 Science-backed Ways Reading Puts You Back on The Road to Achieving More and Living Longer.
Whew! Long title. But, appropriate for the subject matter.
It was in his book, which I did help him with, as content editor, that I learned the real importance of teaching our kids to not only read, but read well.
Yes, we all know the power of reading. I watched Reading is Fundamental, didn't you?
But, over the years, we've begun to lose our reading skills, as we descend into the bottomless pit that is the internet. Mind you, much of the internet does involve reading. Take blogs, for instance, lots of writing and reading there.
The problem is, kids do video games and read minimally today. They walk away from those picture books we read to them when they were in pre-school. If they read at all, it's because reading is an assignment. It's something forced upon them by teachers and parents.
Tom's book helps us grown-ups understand the way reading influences not only our mindset but our overall health. I learned that from his book, too. Reading keeps you healthy.
We all crave that long healthy life. No one wants the long life without the good health.
Kids don't think about that because - well, because, they're kids. They have a long life. As far as they're concerned, anyway.
It's up to us, the grown ups, the leaders in our own homes, to show children the value of reading. To help them absorb the energy reading can give you; the excitement of a story well told; the very bursting of our own imagination when we connect with a story in ways you just can't connect to a video game!
I weep over the slow demise of true reading. Of the joy of reading. Of deep reading, which is a topic in Read 'Em & Reap. I mean, deep reading may disappear if we don't give it more attention in our schools.
I Love the Library
I wish more kids loved the library the way I love the library.
I learned so much by taking books out of the library every week, as a pre-teen. I read at least four or five books a week. I gave a book report on every one. I won an award for it. How great is that? It wasn't an award that the school issued every year. It was made up just for me. Because I was such a prolific reader.
The library allowed me a safe place to go, when things weren't so safe at home.
The library was far enough away that to walk there gave me great exercise and left me alone with my thoughts, which I am quite comfortable with to this day.
The library was chock full of books about anything and everything and I loved the way it smelled, the way it felt, the site of the building, the silence in the stacks of bookcases, the way everyone was respectful of both the books and each other.
It's still true today. All of it. But, today, I will say libraries are less dark and mysterious. They are full of sunshine and hope. You can often hear laughter from the kids' corner. It's just wonderful!
If we don't learn our lessons now, if we allow reading to die, if audio books and movies and video games demand so much of our children's time that they do not have any desire or energy left for reading, I fear we lose more than the beauty and majesty of our libraries, as they are closed and demolished across the country.
I fear we lose both our inherent intelligence and... much of our good health.
Read 'Em & Reap: 6 Science-backed Ways Reading Puts You Back on The Road to Achieving More and Living Longer.
If you read only one book a month, read this one.
Learn how to save the future of reading. It won't take long. It's a quick read, but be prepared to take notes. Tom leaves plenty of room in the sidebar of each page for notes.
Make sure you get a copy in front of your child's teacher.