Let’s look at our home and money situation. Do we have a family? And do we still want to have some fun-filled entertainment in our lives? We’re tired of watching television every night, but we’re monitoring the family dollar, and to take the whole gang to the movies is a big chunk of change. So let’s go back to a common form of entertainment of the past: Reading.
As a little girl, home-computers were not around, but we did watch television. Our television viewing wasn’t extreme. Saturday morning cartoons as a child are a wonderful memory. But what I remember vividly was my mother reading to me every night. I would then read to her when I got a little older, and then finally — when my reading was proficient enough — I’d snuggle in my bed at night and climb under the covers and read novel after novel — something I still love to do today. This enabled me to travel to far-away places, my imagination being my plane ticket to anywhere I desired. With other forms of entertainment being so readily available nowadays, many people have lost this passion to read. Maybe our finances are our primary motivation for looking for cheaper forms of entertainment, but there are so many more benefits.
- We become proficient in one of the main skills required for functioning in today’s world.
- Improves vocabulary and conversational skills.
- Entertainment — rarely get bored.
- Children and teenagers have higher IQs when they love reading
- Promotes mental development because it involves concentrating whereas listening to the radio or watching the television only require limited involvement.
- Broadens our perspective. If we read certain kinds of books about different cultures and different countries, we grow to understand their histories and thus their lifestyles today. The same can be said for reading our own historical books.
- Books can affect our attitude towards life, and thus improve our life if we read the right kind of books.
I tell my children to read at least a half an hour a day, but that’s good advice for anyone. They’ve all found their own love for reading, but have definitely needed a prodding here and there. If we have young children, now is the time to start. Read to them when they’re babies, as part of the routine, and they’ll learn to enjoy it. When they start school, reading will have been such a positive experience for them — time with their parents — that it won’t be considered a laborious task! Rather it will be an imaginative ride or a fun lesson in knowledge.
So keep the television off tonight, go to the library or bookstore or browse amazon if you don’t want to go anywhere, and then find your book, hunker down and open up this whole new world.