Tuesday, January 20, 2015


As part of an introduction activity to begin 2nd semester, I asked my students to share the name of their favorite author.  Reading has always been one of my favorite obsessions, so I assumed most would have some preference carved out in their minds.

Imagine my surprise (and dismay) when I discovered that more than half of those I teach don’t regularly read on their own. 


I understand that some have difficulties, but these are bright, intelligent, and interesting young people.  Their parents are humble folks who are trying to raise children in a very difficult world.  Yet, as a body of young people, the majority don’t read, other than what is assigned by a teacher (and not even that sometimes).

So much is lost when people aren't comfortable with reading.
Imagination is limited!
Vocabulary doesn't grow!
Perspective is blinded!
Understanding of the world remains at a very juvenile level!

In my life, reading books is how I discovered things like science, art, politics, religion, and the joy that comes from learning something new.  When my children were younger they would often ask how I came to know so many answers to their questions.  Without fail, the answer was “I read that somewhere in a book.” 

I love reading!!

Because I read I know that Abraham Lincoln was much more capable than many of his day ever imagined.  He was wise enough to hide his intelligence with a ‘folksy’ attitude, giving himself an advantage with his adversaries.

Because I read I know that Einstein’s theory of relativity has its limits but is really cool in an eternal sense.  And it helps science fiction with plot-lines.

Because I read I am convinced politicians think most people are ignorant and don’t remember what has been said or done in the past. But those who read DO!

Reading is a lifesaver in more than one way. 
When Mr. Boredom approaches, a good book can push him away.
When I can’t figure out how to fix the car I can get the right book and find the solution.
And when life begins to get really messy, there are things I can read that will provide comfort from the sorrows all around.

While not a cure-all, reading is one of the great medicines for the ills of this life. 

If you don’t already, put some time into reading. 

You’ll be surprised how much it helps.

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