Reading. We read for many reasons. We read for pleasure and entertainment, for understanding and evaluation, or for new perspective and education. In school we were forced to read certain materials whether they were a novel, textbook, or manual. Many of my classmates learned to hate reading. I blame it on the fact they did not get to read what made them happy. They lost the pleasure and entertainment factor. Fortunately, I was surrounded myself with people who love to read and remind me all the time why reading makes me happy.
Reading takes you to faraway places.
I glance out the window and all I see is a gray sky, drizzle, and the sad colors of winter melting in Ohio. Thankfully, I have a book sitting next to me waiting to take me to spring time in mid-April with sunbaked sidewalks, freshly cut green grass, and the promise of a page-turning thriller.
In the last couple week, I have read to learn a little about the judicial system for fun, to sign simple words for a Baby Storytime at work, how President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and what it takes to make Beef Burgundy to satisfy my hunger. I couldn’t have done that without reading.
After reading several cookbooks, I was inspired to look through my pantry and throw together a dish. I called it “Empty the Produce Drawer Pasta.” I thought it tasted good. It had nothing to do with the recipes in those books, but those recipes certainly helped get the wheels turning in my mind. It happens when I have writer’s block. I start reading blogs, magazines, and books. Eventually, something breaks through and I feel inspired to start writing.
There is a really big push for early literacy--getting children ready to read before Kindergarten. This means reading signs, cereal boxes at the grocery store, reading menus, and, of course, reading books. Reading books about animals, colors, numbers, friendship, family, cars, and more. And if it is a topic, there’s a book about it. Reading not only teaches children to read, but it also prepares them for school and their future.
It also reminds adults about their youth. It takes adults back to their youth. A quick scan of my bookshelf, and I am immediately teleported back to my childhood. Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and Beverly Cleary are just a few of the authors who remind me of some of my favorite elementary school teachers and classes. The Great Gatsby takes me to high school American History and English, a class where I discovered my love of history and the early to mid-1900s. Others remind me of great discussions between friends.
Reading makes me happy.
It makes me want to figure out a way to read faster, if only to be able to finish more books, learn about more places, take on new challenges, and be inspired to reach new heights.
Julia works as a Youth Services Library Specialist at an inner-city library creating programs geared toward teens and children. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and a Master of Arts in Education. She follows what makes her happy, which typically includes Starbucks, reading, writing, baking, and the Backstreet Boys. You can find her at *stuck at a moment*(magnifythestars.wordpress.com).