Why is Reading SO Important?

Nah, reading ain’t important! The only people that care about reading are those grammar police people who troll the internet waiting to pounce on quick-finger texters who just want to update their status or make a point and don’t think to edit those autocorrected messages.

I’m probably preaching to the choir, but reading is a necessary skill for success in our world. Finding information is critical to making decisions. We can collect information by watching videos, listening to podcasts, or by reading.

Some things are only available by reading. We can read by listening just like we can read by looking at words. Sure, reading instruction manuals, and legal fine print is one way we get information, but what about reading fiction?

Fiction is known as made up stories. However, fiction is amazing because we can learn so many truths through made-up scenarios. Some people call it, “telling the truth by lying”. We can learn to empathize with other people. We can learn what it is like to belong to a culture that we can never personally know. We can feel what other people feel as we read their stories of struggle, survival, and triumph. (Check out the list of great books at the end of the post)

One of the best examples of learning empathy from a character in a book is Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. 

If you haven’t, you need to read this book. It helps the reader to feel what the main character August feels as he’s getting ready to go to a new school. August has some insecurities. Don’t we all? I won’t say anything else for fear of spoiling the story.

There are many other stories that help us to understand other people. Understanding other people takes away judgement. Understanding other people increases patience. Understanding other people promotes love and kindness which makes me wonder, is anyone in our world reading fiction anymore?

I am. I love reading. I hope you do too!

-Dave

Other books that increase understanding and empathy:

The Watson’s Go To Birmingham: 1963
The War That Saved My Life
The One and Only Ivan
Okay for Now
Number the Stars
Freak the Mighty
Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie

I’m sure there are others. Let me know what you think!

 

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