Advance View: Reading a joy for each generation

Reading is one of the most important skills we can help pass on to our children.

It’s also one of the greatest

 pleasures we can share with one another.

Today, Jan. 27, is Family Literacy Day, a national awareness program whose aim it is to promote parents reading to and with their children.

The ability to read – and to read well – is so important that it hardly needs to be stated. 

There is hardly a job in the world that doesn’t require literacy, not to mention the way it smooths out your path in dealing with the government, law, and financial institutions.

But beyond that, one of the best reasons to read with and to your family is simple: it’s fun.

Reading together allows a family to go on journeys into the past, the most distant parts of the world, the far future, or into realms that never have or will exist. 

Catch a reader young, and they’ll keep reading on their own, and pass that along to the next generation as well.

Today, we live with millions of options at our fingertips, through cable TV, on-demand programming, and the internet to access a vast collection of human knowledge and entertainment.

Most of it is consumed passively. You watch a movie or a television show. 

Even in live theatre, it’s frowned upon to interrupt the performance to ask questions or comment, to stop and ask the actors to go back a few pages in the script and start again, this time doing everything in a different accent.

The printed word allows for those options, immediately. Reading together, reading out loud or sharing books, permits a rare form of discussion. Each reader has their own view of the story, the vision they form in collaboration with the author. 

Stories live on long after the words The End appear, in the minds of their readers.

The printed word is one of the few addictions that causes no lasting harm, and instead provides a life-long benefit of happiness.

– M.C..

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