“My kids aren’t readers. Today, there are so many ways to pick up information, is old fashioned reading really important anymore?”
In a recent counseling session with the father of three sons, I came face to face with a question that caused me to reconsider long-held positions about the value of reading in the lives of children and young adults in the 21st Century. Is reading still important to intellectual growth? Are there better ways to assimilate content from the world around us?
Information retrieval is not the same as education. While countless online services provide almost unlimited access to facts and figures, reading offers context, exposure to the art of the written word, and one more critical element: exercise to increase attention span and enhance a person’s ability to focus over a significant period of time. Many students suffer from attention deficit; reading, in effect, is an antidote – an opportunity to become immersed in alternative realities that can expand one’s attention span, heighten focus, and increase true learning.
The addition of a reading program is beneficial at any age. The subject matter is less important; it is the process that has great value. Incorporating a reading period into every day – not magazine articles, not short-burst tweets or predigested data bubbles, but actual reading of books – will enhance verbal skills, enrich one’s pool of knowledge, elevate self-confidence, and add a richness to life that cannot be found elsewhere. Old fashioned reading is still really important, at every age!
- Important for kids to read in summer months (reporternews.com)
- Gender reading gap ‘not biological’ (standard.co.uk)
- How eReaders are opening a new chapter in our lives (thevsquare.wordpress.com)