By Anna Harris
March is National Reading Month, a yearly “event” put on by the
National Education Foundation to shine a light on the importance of
reading and literacy.
In today’s world, it seems like it’s all about keeping up with the latest in technology. We all want the latest and greatest smart phone, tablet and apps. I purchased a Kindle a few years ago to see what all the fuss was about. And you know what? I have never used it. I did download a book, but made it only to page two before quickly purchasing it in paperback on Amazon Prime and posting the Kindle on eBay. There is just something about reading on paper that no gadget will ever achieve. Maybe it’s the smell of a new book or the sheer turning of the pages. You have a tactile and visual sense of progress and accomplishment. Ask anyone and they will likely agree. In fact, a recent study found that electronic readers were significantly worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a story, finding that readers actually absorb less on Kindles than on paper.
My kids are 22 months old and have recently developed an obsession with books. Sometimes they want to be read to, sometimes they will sit in their little reading chairs and “read” out loud to themselves or each other, and sometimes they just like to point at all the pictures. On the weekends, we go to story time at our local library. It might as well be a trip to Disneyland in their eyes. They literally squeal with excitement being surrounded by all the books they could ever dream of.
My own mother recently found a children’s book that she wrote for me when I was two years old while she was doing some spring cleaning. The cover was made of laminated, colorful construction paper and the thick, card stock interior pages were illustrated by her with colored pencils. They were bound together with big, metal binder rings. I was shocked. This book has been around for thirty years and is still in great condition. I had no clue that she had done this for me and was so excited to read it to my kids (they love it, of course). It’s something I will keep forever and will hopefully read to my grandchildren one day. And if I can find the time, I just might sit down and make one myself.
So get reading! In the words of the great Doctor (Suess, that is), “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Join the conversation this month on Twitter using the hashtag #withpaper!