I am reading. You are reading. Grandma’s reading and father’s reading too. This is not a nursery rhyme, it’s a manifesto about reading’s universal appeal and importance.
Everybody has the right to read, no matter their age. More importantly, there’s really no clear category distinction as to what a person can read and when. If you’re a 52 year old mother of three and enjoy reading Young Adult literature, that’s OK. If you find The Little Prince mesmerizing after all these years and enjoy reading it to your 3-year old girl more than she likes to listen to it, that’s also OK. Reading as a habit has a multitude of benefits, and putting artificial restrictions on this habit, or constricting the scope of reading options, is rather pointless.
Reading for Young Children
Children that get into the habit of reading will be pleased and astonished by how quickly it becomes their preferred medium of gaining knowledge, losing themselves in fantasy, and expressing their creativity.
Reading unveils an immense world of countless possibilities for them. It educates them, makes them laugh, and gives them hints and clues as to what life is about. Most of the time, they don’t even realize that they’re being taught as they read.
For example, Dr. Seuss’s popular “The Star-Bellied Sneetches” is a book that uses a funny plot line to share important underlying lessons on discrimination, prejudice, and tolerance. Getting children to love reading ensures that they learn to nurture noble values and develop strong ethics and a forward-thinking worldview.
Reading for Young Adults – Adult Literature
As adolescents, many children dive into reading as a way of finding answers to thorny questions on identity, existence, sexuality, relationships, feelings, and romance.
But that’s not the only reason adolescents read. They read because reading is fun – because what they get from reading is extraordinary. Literature generously gives them inside peeks into new worlds, new tools for thinking, for being brave, for resolving issues, and for making sense of our often confusing (as some authors present it, approaching dystopic) and tech-driven lives.
Adults resort to books for the same reasons, much of the time. No matter the genre, the pursuit is always the same: a mental escape, a storehouse of new knowledge, a new way of thinking, a new breathtaking world shared between author and reader. Adults can explore difficult philosophical works to help them gain a wider understanding of the world, or revisit their youth by rereading some of their childhood favorites.
Reading for Seniors
Once you’ve been bitten by the (reading) bug, there’s no way of letting go of it. Reading becomes a daily habit that you return to, no matter what. It becomes your constant in a world permeated by continuous change and unpredictability.
But reading when you’re older is not just matter of habit. In numerous studies reading has been confirmed to help combat brain aging, and many studies have shown that reading keeps people’s thinking agile. Even everyday functions like reacting to traffic light changes or identifying a phone number improve thanks to habitual reading.
Reading for All
The extraordinary experience of reading a printed book is one that has endured for centuries. It hasn’t been compromised or weakened despite the growing popularity of other reading media like the Internet and ereaders. Instead, these new ways of reading has ensured that it has become a habit deeply entrenched in our daily lives.
We read hardcopy novels, we read digital blogs, and we learn about the latest news through the online New York Times. Reading is something that ties us together and allows us to share experiences through the stories that we tell.
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