In honor of Book Lover’s Day on August 9th, some writing friends and I are sharing what books mean to us and how we enjoy them. I encourage you to visit their pages as well, listed at the end.
But one cannot talk about the subject of Books without also talking about Reading. Because unless they are being used solely for decoration, and that would be sad, books and reading go hand in hand. Or would it be hand on page? Either way.
There are so many, many “rules” about writing, most of which I largely ignore. But one that I do believe has merit is that to be a good writer, one must also be a good and avid reader. Simply put — the more writing one does in practice and the more reading one does in study and research, the better writer one is more likely to become. So, if you want to become a writer, then become a reader and learn to love books!
I have always been a lover of books, consistently reading two or three levels above my grade in school each year. All credit goes to my mother who began reading to me from a time before I can remember and was a continual reading advocate afterward. Unless cooking, gardening, or doing housework, she was never to be seen without a book in her hand. A stellar example, to be sure.
I wrote more about my love of books and what they mean to me in another post if you would like to see what I consider The Five Most Influential Books Guiding My Early Life.
I will never forget how astonished my new sixth-grade teacher was at the beginning of the school year, asking the class what we had read over the previous summer. I had read “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” by Homer, among several others. Skeptical (to say the least), I had to do impromptu book reports on each to convince her.
Later that year, she became another strong encourager of my becoming a writer someday. (My fourth-grade teacher was the first.) And a lesson on why it is so vitally important to be aware of what we say to impressionable young children. They are likely to take you seriously!
For me, books are Gateways. Books open doors to adventure, history, information and learning, and to other worlds both real and imagined that we could never hope to visit otherwise. Trust me, the land of Little Red Bear is an amazing place to visit, but one can only hope to travel there thru reading the Little Red Bear stories, as it is with all fiction.
Reading a classic is like having a conversation with an author who may have long since departed, yet the knowledge and wisdom can be passed on forever. When reading the preface and proverbs of Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac” over my early years, I felt as though I was benefiting from kindly, grandfatherly advice. How much would anyone be willing to pay to attend seminars led by Marcus Aurelias, Lao Tzu, Socrates, Michelangelo, or Henry David Thoreau? Just to mention only a very few as an example. Books and reading make it possible. Choosing not to read is choosing to ignore and close the door (and mind!) to all of those possibilities.
Mark Twain said that — “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
And that alone is why every child should be read to from the earliest age on. One of the most surprising predictors of success in life was discovered to be a child’s reading ability in primary school. Reading for pleasure, notably fiction, even at early ages, is far more important than imagined. It helps expand and foster imagination.
Encouraging reading and the development of engaged readers is fundamentally important, especially for boys, as there is a significant literacy gap between boys and girls from third grade all the way thru high school graduation. With so many distractions nowadays with sports activities, video games and more for both boys and girls, we all truly need to do everything we can to encourage a love of reading and books for children at the earliest age. Their future depends on it.
As a baby, even though they may have no concept of the meaning of the words, the mother’s or father’s voice is comforting, soothing, and bonding. As a toddler, it encourages and develops a fondness for the books themselves, as well as tightening family bonds. They get used to being around books, while at the same time seeing the reader’s beneficial example of enjoying the experience. As a child grows, reading both to and with them sets and reinforces the foundation for a lifelong love of reading and education. Not to mention some of the highest quality time together.
Few things are as important as reading to a child and encouragement to keep them reading, to become avid learners. As we all should do to continue vitalizing and expanding our minds as we age. Daily cognitive stimulation (like reading) may help keep dementia away.
Thanks always for visiting and reading with us!
As you can probably guess, my story character friend Little Red Bear and I are all about encouraging not only young readers but readers of every age. That is one of the main reasons why everything included in the “Short Works & Free Reads” tab at the top of the page here, is well — all Free. And no ads running to lag and slow down the experience. It’s doing what we can do.
But, why wait for the holidays? Give someone a book today, just for the sheer joy of it. We never know which book may provide a life-changing experience or motivation for someone.
And they would have you to thank for it. That’s pretty cool, yes? — Jim (and Red!) 🤠 🐻
If you enjoyed this piece, you may also enjoy → Opting for Millstones or Milestones — “The Desiderata”
(And if a new visitor — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)
I invite you to visit with my #Gr8Blogs Writer Friends listed here for their book-loving thoughts and information, and to share yours in the Comments, as well.
“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” – Roald Dahl
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends — “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx
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“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” — Neil Gaiman