As all of you with primary school aged children will know, next week is “World Book Day”. Although this is a great thing (and lot’s of fun), let’s not let the true importance of the day get lost amongst the yummy mummy competitions for the best home made character costume and the jockeying to position their child highest in the league table of intelligence by replacing their actual favourite book with something by Tolstoy.
If you don’t have small children to remind you how difficult it is to learn to read, it’s easy to take that essential skill for granted. But reading is for the brain what oxygen is to the body. Neglect to read and our intellectual state fails to thrive – our mind might as well shrivel up and die.
Reading is the door to knowledge, but not in the way we might think. So yes, it’s important that everyone knows the importance of reading. But it’s creating a love of reading that really opens that door.
At school this is possible. There is time for our children to read books about the things they love, to learn about the World, and also about imagination. As they grow, reading is made to be more of a chore, with the onus on the individual to put the time in. On reaching adulthood and employment, reading is almost a no-no. A time-waster and a second best to the “real” work. Colleagues reading books during their break are viewed as insular or just plain weird. Well I’m sorry but if you haven’t known the power of being unable to put down a good book then I truly feel sorry for you.
I know more than I did yesterday because of reading and tomorrow, reading will mean I know more than today. To hijack a popular saying;
“Reading is for life, not just for one day”
Please make it so.