Over the last month, I have begun to think of myself as a book blogger. Involving myself in chats has revealed there are a large number of bloggers who spend their time with their noses in a book. Or if not that, thinking about books.
It was such a refreshing discovery. I have always been a keen and active reader. At family events as a child, I would be found curled up in the corner with a book. Now, however, it is my cousins in the corner with their DS’s. Are we as a generation losing our love for reading?
I would like to think not.
I had a book clear out last summer and asked if some of my younger cousins would like a few. I was delighted when I heard the answer was yes, that one was an avid reader and the next time I saw him, he had his nose in a book. The technology of today is incredible, I am not one to deny it. Although a child can participate in an adventure and become the hero while playing a game, I hope the magic of losing oneself in a good book hasn’t been lost. There would be no greater crime.
I was inspired to write this post after reading an article (one that I cannot now find again) about the importance of reading. Some of it was obvious: vocabulary, speech, language skills etc. But it went further than that. Some of the reasons were highly interesting. For example, a reader is more likely to be able to empathise with people in reality. They connect to the characters in the books, feel for them and develop with them. That can be applied to real life, meaning readers have more chance of connected with people.
I also heard that reading genuinely helps with social mobility throughout life. Reading for pleasure engages with the part of the brain that is connected with learning. The books themselves provide some lessons. But by picking up a book, you are opening yourself to a whole new world of possibilities that those who only read when forced are being denied. Your brain is encouraged to learn, a development that takes place across all subjects, not just literature. Getting teenage audiences to engage with a book is harder than it used to be. But the issue lies with society, meaning the right influences can solve the problem.
It was interesting to hear the other things that reading was beneficial for. It was inspiring to see so many people filling blogs with book related topics, bringing the world of the internet and the world of books together. It has helped me to refocus where my love for reading comes from and to lose myself to it all over again. There is nothing better than an afternoon curled up with a cup of tea and a good book. I hope our generation of readers can instil that in the next and books/reader never becomes lost.