In this era of the digital world, reading books has become a thing of the past. With so much in our plates, we hardly have time to read for pleasure. The mountains of course books that keep haunting us day in and day out seldom give us the luxury to indulge in anything else. And occasionally when we do get this luxury, we prefer to stay away from books as much as we can and do something ‘cooler’ and adventurous instead.
Honestly, whenever someone would suggest reading a book to me, I was engulfed with the feeling of boredom because come on, what could be fun about sitting curled up on a couch and reading a book???
And then something even worse happened…my school introduced a reading project and we were all supposed to read a number of a books in a given time period.
I can tell you that I wasn’t too happy and like many others around me, I was also ranting and complaining. But eventually, I grew to enjoy the experience and ultimately there came a time when I couldn’t wait to start the next book…sometimes even before I had finished the one I was reading!
Some of the positives of reading I personally experienced were:
1. Educational benefits
As I read more and more, I became increasingly confident as a reader and eventually, I felt a significant increase in text comprehension and grammar, writing ability and vocabulary.
2. Enhanced personality
My school reported a positive approach in my attitude in relation to engagement in school and communication with peers and teachers.
3. Creativity and imagination
Reading also enhances one’s creativity and imagination, which has tremendously helped me in a lot of things including other subjects at school.
It is true that books and their characters can influence you as a person. For instance, Harry Potter evoked a sense of loyalty and compromise within me. It taught me to value friendship and adopt traits that I admired in my favourite characters.
5. Moral building
A good book tends to teach you good morals and values, for instance, To Kill a Mocking Bird subconsciously taught me about civil war and racism.
6. Relieves stress
I came across a research once that suggested that reading silently even for six minutes tends to ease tension and slow down heart rate; and I found this to be actually true.
From my own experience, I have realized that academic reading tends to become slow and dreary and kills all the fun. Furthermore, the standardized testing, grades and other student competency evaluating factors reduces one’s love for reading.
However, reading for pleasure can enhance not just reading skills and vocabulary but also confidence and character. And I hope that other schools also introduce reading projects for their students and then watch as the wonders unfold!