It’s difficult to overstate the importance of reading.
There are plenty of studies and research into this. There’s all the obvious stuff, stuff you probably know (although it is worth reminding yourself occasionally). Reading improves concentration, vocabulary and comprehension.
But there is a growing body of evidence that shows that children who read for pleasure do better in just about every area of human activity. Interestingly, all these studies show it's the reading of fiction that seems to open doors into wider experiences.
There is now compelling evidence that links reading with creativity. And creativity seems to be the key skill in responding to a rapidly changing world.
Reading can quieten the noise of a 24/7 twittering world clamouring for attention and creates a space in which to explore, consider and think. It teaches us to be happier within ourselves.
Yet reading is on the decline. Literacy is significantly in decline for both adults and children.
Like any skill, it is more difficult to start it again if you don’t commit to doing it regularly.
Reading is a skill like anything else. Want to be better at football? Train more, get fitter. Want to be better at reading? Read more, get better.
So many people come into our shop and tell us how they would really like their children to read more (mostly because they recognise how good it is for them – but hopefully, also, because it is FUN).
But do your children ever see you read?
Admit it, you tend to read just before going to bed. Or from an electronic gadget. When do they ever see you obviously taking time during the day, when you are not tired, to put aside everything else to enjoy a book?
Children (particularly boys) can hit an age when they look at their parents and think ‘this isn’t something my Mum or Dad do for fun, it’s babyish’. And as levels of schoolwork increase, and life gets ever more complex, reading for pleasure seems like a luxury.
So here’s our idea: start a family reading group. It’s simple, compelling and we think you’re going to really enjoy it.
How to start a family reading group.
“The path of a reader is not a runway but more a hack through a forest, with individual twists and turns, entanglements and moments of surprise.” – June Holden