READ, READ READ
By Kim Ariail
I am a broken record when comes to advice about reading. NUMEROUS times I tell students and parents that they should read, that reading is the number one indicator of academic success (Pritchard, et al. 1999; Whitten, Christy, et al., 2016), and that all members of the household should read every day. But maybe I do not explain the why behind my reasoning.
1) Improved concentration and focus
In our media-influenced world, where we are constantly checking our status, emails, scores, and other internet-based items, we can become too multi-tasked to focus on just one thing. When we read, we tend to wrap ourselves in the author’s words and concentrate on the story or narrative that is being spoken to us. Reading becomes our silent voyage into a new destination, allowing for our mind to focus, absorb and mentally relax. Basically improving our overall being which let us be honest, we all need right now.
2) Reading makes you smarter
Who doesn’t want to be smarter? Books are valuable and rich sources of information. Whenever you read something new, you learn something new. Surprise! Reading also can increase your command of the language. For example, when you read, you come across new vocabulary, idioms, phrases, sentence patterns, and the author’s writing styles. In fact, you are becoming smarter by reading this article. And, of course, if you access and engage with all of this newly gained knowledge then your writing becomes better as well.
3) Improves imagination and creativity
As mentioned above, when you read, your mind creates a “movie in your head”, visualizing and achieving higher levels of understanding. You begin to see what the words in the story are dictating to you, therefore, expanding your mind to what can be possible. This visualization, this level of understanding, allows one to become more open-minded to other’s opinions and views, AND that can’t be a bad thing.
Bottom Line? Read. Read! Read!! Reading is entertaining, reading is free, the more you practice reading the better you get at it. It does not matter what language you read in (1st, 2nd, or even third language) or what type of text (magazine, graphic novel, textbook, newspaper) Just do it! Besides, READING IS FUN.