Sitting on the floor in a small-town library, the young child eagerly listened to the mesmerizing tales read by the ‘library lady’, as she called her. She felt she was in the presence of magic. The stories beckoned her to fascinating worlds and helped her to fall in love with the written word. Her mother would take her there each week and after story hour, she would take out a few books, read them and then bring them back next time and choose more. Her parents would read bedtime stories to her and with her. Summers were spent checking books off of her reading list. When the bookmobile made its annual trip to her elementary school, she eagerly carried the precious $10 her parents gave her, to choose books to take home and keep. Her room had a well-stocked bookshelf. She has memories of carrying books around like they were teddy bears. All of that reading paid off, as she is now an author and journalist. She is carrying on the family tradition by reading to her grandchildren.
Hers is only one story. There are so many others who know the value of books, both those who create page turners and those who turn the pages.
August is National Book Lovers Month, a time to celebrate the creative work of wordsmiths.
Why is reading an important skill?
· It expands our knowledge base.
· It enhances our understanding of the world
· It improves our vocabulary
· It boosts our communication skills
· It tickles our creativity
· It provides entertainment
· It gives us something to talk about
· It improves concentration
How about reading to and with children?
· Children benefit from having the adults in their lives read to them
· It helps children feel loved and important
· It plants the seeds for them to be lifelong learners
· It encourages curiosity
· It enhances brain development
· It improves their school performance
Check out the top 10 books for 2022, according to Time Magazine, including:
The Naked Don’t Fear the Water, Matthieu Aikins
In Love, Amy Bloom
The School for Good Mothers, Jessamine Chan
Life Between the Tides, Adam Nicolson
A hot topic lately is book banning. In school board meetings around the country, an overwhelming number of board members are fearful of students learning a more accurate and comprehensive American and world history, and that not every child is cis-gender, heterosexual and white, so they vote to prevent them from having access. The irony is that when books are banned, readers are drawn to forbidden fruit and sales skyrocket.
Some of the banned books are classics such as: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Handmaid’s Tale, Maus, Of Mice and Men, Captain Underpants, Harry Potter, Lord of the Flies, The Color Purple, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Catch 22 and newer tomes such as The Hate U Give, Fun House, And Tango Makes Three, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Heather Has Two Mommies, and Two Boys Kissing.
For National Book Lovers Month, visit a library or a bookstore. Meander the aisles and peruse the shelves. While we are becoming accustomed to books on CD and Kindle, there is nothing like the feel of the paper pages as they are turned. Bring home books for yourself and as gifts for others. Read to children. Share your favorites, and while you are at it, read a banned book.