THE PLEASURE AND POWER OF READING
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Joseph Addison
“I will defend the importance of the bedtime to my last gasp.” JK Rowling
“A house without books is like a room without windows.” Heinrich Mann
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Fredrick Douglass
“You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me.” Strickland Gillian
I have always been very grateful that my mother not only read to me but encouraged me to read. In our home there was nothing more important than reading. I was not only taken to the local library but I was given many books and magazines for gifts. I remember early in my life I took interest in the National Geographic Magazines that I would read as we waited in waiting rooms of the Doctor or Dentist.
In fact, my mother gave me a subscription to the National Geographic as a gift for Christmas for many years. Each month as that revered magazine came, I devoured each article. I went all over the world. What a great memory, and what great reading material. Another great book I remember is a “Treasury of Dog Stories.” Another great read!
Peter Economy, author of the aforementioned article asks the questions: “Remember how your favorite book shaped you as a kid?” Or, “How your favorite poem or essay defines you now as an adult.” I have often said my favorite was the one I was currently reading, but; I can truthfully say that the early influences in my life helped me to enjoy the lifelong pleasure of reading either for pleasure or instruction.
I would like to explore the many benefits and joy that people derive from reading.
BENEFITS OF READING
In an article by Sandy Clarke, https://leaderomics.com/personal/power-of-reading-and-success
“If someone asked you to name one trait that truly sets people apart, what would pop into your head? Talent? Resources? A great network? Innovative ideas? All of these things surely make a difference, but the single thought that permeates the top one per cent of income earners is that they read. A lot!
Research carried out by habit and wealth expert Tom Corley shows that, while less successful people read mostly for entertainment, those at the top are avid readers of self improvement books. In fact, successful people read two or more self improvement books per month.
In the article by Sandy Clarke, the author also quotes Paul C. Brunson, international entrepreneur, lifestyle coach and American TV host who says: “Reading has a powerful effect on our capacity to learn, develop and grow isn’t a new idea. Like exercising and meditation, many of us are aware of the positive results that come with a reading habit. The question, then, is: “Why aren’t more people – particularly young students and professionals – reading more books?”
Brunson says there are two major divides who don’t read. The first group are people who don’t put a value on reading, who don’t see a correlation and success,
The other group are people who realize the power of reading but don’t read as much as they would like to. Consequently, the average professional reads fewer than five books per year.
Brunson makes a powerful statement in the article: “If you choose to read – and I’m talking rigorous reading – you are going to chink your ladder faster and higher; you’re going to make more money; you’re going to have more influence; you’re going to create a bigger impact; and most importantly, you’re going to create a powerful legacy,”
The author of this article, Sandy Clarke, is a freelance writer from the UK, currently based in Malaysia. As an avid reader himself, he appreciates the predicament of people who want to read more but feel they can’t find the time.
READING IS LIFE, THE REST IS JUST FOOTNOTES!
Several years ago as I was selling books to schools and libraries I would attend two conventions per year as a vendor. One was the state library media convention attended by the librarians, and the other was the local chapter of the International Reading Association attended by the reading instructors throughout the state. These ladies and gentlemen were my clients and for the most part they were my friends. I really enjoyed seeing them each year either at the conventions or in their classrooms or libraries. One year my gift as a take away was a canvas bag with “Reading is life, the rest is just footnotes.” The bag was a big hit!
NON FICTION READING BECOMES A REAL ADVENTURE!
After my wife, Sandy had earned her Master’s Degree in Education, I invited her to become an educational consultant and make a presentation to the reading teachers entitled: ” NON FICTION READING BECOMES A REAL ADVENTURE.” This was easy for her because with every shipment og sample books she would always claim first choice as they came in.
Imagine the delight of these teachers and especially me as she promoted books from companies I represented on such subjects as the solar system, environmental biomes, rocks and minerals, tectonic plates related to geology, states, countries, and on and on.
They were really engrossed in her presentation, and it boosted my standing with my clients. After the presentation we hoped that it would make it easier for them to emphasize the importance of non-fiction. After all, there are other genres than strictly fiction. And yes, non-fiction reading is a real adventure. It can take you anywhere you want to go!
From a great book entitled: “OPEN A WORLD OF POSSIBLE, REAL STORIES ABOUT THE JOY AND POWER OF READING”, English teacher, Kylene Beers tell the following story: She had been warned about having a favorite student, but one year, Gary, a small seventh grader with an impish smile, uncombed hair, wild freckles and an optimism that was contagious entered her life. Kylene was invited to be a chaperone for the annual trip to Washington, D.C. for seventh and eighth graders. The trip was free for teachers but the students paid a fee to go. They talked in class about all the sites to see in the nation’s capital. All along she listened to the excitement of the students, especially Gary. The final week Gary told his teacher that he needed to talk to her about the trip. She asked if he needed another payment slip. And slowly Gary replied, “No I can’t go. My Mom says we don’t have money enough for one of us kids to go and the others not. So I can’t go.”
“But”, he went on, “it’s OK.”
“My Mom says we’ll go to the library and check out the White House, the Smithsonian, all the monuments and all the other sites. We’ll read about everything you will see. And then Mom says when you get back you can come over dinner and we’ll talk about the trip because Mom says the only difference is that you’ll take a trip on a plane and I’ll take a trip in my mind. So, will you give me a copy of the itinerary?”
Kylene says, “I would have given him anything.”
Spring break came. Kylene headed to the airport and Gary headed to the library.
When she returned she was invited to dinner, as she showed pictures, Gary opened his books.
At the end of a nice dinner and a delightful evening the teacher complimented the mother and told her that if every kid had a mother like her the world would be a better place.
As the teacher was leaving the mother showed her a small blue card and said, “This is our library card. There are many things I will never be able to buy my children, but because we have a library card there is nothing they can’t have. They can travel anywhere, learn anything, meet anyone, and ultimately become whatever they dream to be because we have this card that gives access to a world of books. And it’s those books that will help Gary find his place in the world.
As Kylene says: “Yes, getting lost in a book is a magical thing. But finding your way because of a book is better.”
As Michael Simmons from https://medium.com/ says: “If you love to read as much as I do, walking into a bookstore as an adult feels exactly like walking into a candy store as a kid. The shelves are lined with the wisdom of humanity, insights that each author has spent years refining. It’s all right there at your fingertips, condensed into a format that you can curl up with.
So naturally, you pull out your credit card and press the “buy now” button.
And the books pile up. On shelves, in your bedroom, maybe even in your bathroom. The most dedicated book addicts find space where there was previously none.
And as the books pile up, so does your guilt. Guilt at not reading all the books you buy. Guilt at not finishing the books you start. If this describes you, I have good news for you.
“Even if you do not have time to read them all, over stuffing your bookshelf or your e-reader is good for you.” Jessica Stillman.
From an article entitled: “THE WAY YOU READ BOOKS SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOUR INTELLIGENCE”. By Michael Simmons.
This is great consolation for me. I am an avid reader. I am also admittedly addicted to books and reading. When I receive a pop up ad from Amazon, I have to respond. And I sometimes buy. My kindle is full and I don’t want to delete anything. And my book shelves are full. Sometimes I recycle or re purpose and sell some of my books on Amazon.
I know I need to stop buying so many books, but I will never stop reading and will never stop promoting books or reading!
I would like to leave you with two thoughts:
1- Read to your children and help them learn to read!
2- For yourself, enjoy reading and make time for reading!
Thank you for reading!
Encouraging literacy and learning!