The importance of reading

The importance of reading

A woman reading a book
A woman reading a book

The importance of reading, a short article exploring the great advantage of reading books, news, and the different useful consequences on the reader brain.

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we are alone and feeling low, a good book can listen to us and we can gather comfort, consolation and strength!
Carl William Brown

I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.
Harold Kushner

Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.
John Green

To live as a vegetable you don’t need to read!
Carl William Brown

The book you don’t read won’t help.
Jim Rohn

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin

To be a good writer and why not also a passionate reader you must be able to listen to the dead and talk to them.
Carl William Brown

Only half of the book is written, the reader must complete the other half.
Joseph Conrad

My advice to young writers is first of all, to read as much as possible, then I would suggest keeping a diary to remember where you’ve been, and who you,ve met, and what you thought and felt. But, I also say, “Don’t forget to make grammar, punctuation and spelling a part of your life.

Through reading we can learn about every form of culture and so we can have access to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

Reading and studying
Reading and studying

Since culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people, through it we can learn how to solve our problems, how to understand things and how to improve, perhaps, our lives and the society we live in. Reading is therefore culture that is communication, and we know that communication is fundamental for our culture.

Reading is not only one of the four fundamental language skills, the others being writing, speaking, and listening; but thanks to reading activities you can improve your abilities through Books that are an important aspect of our learning experience. Books are rich repositories of knowledge. We find books in various forms around us from magazines to novels to self-help and academic books. They have managed to create a genre for just the needs of every individual.

Me, poor man, my library was a dukedom large enough!… So, of his gentleness, knowing I lov’d my books, he furnish’d me from my own library with volumes that I prize above my dukedom!
Prospero in The Tempest by William Shakespeare

After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.
Thomas Carlyle

In the dead I always read something new while and in the living I heard telling a thousand times thousands of old things.
A.F. Doni

Books are like a treasure, sometimes a treasure of knowledge, sometimes of learning new skills and sometimes of entertainment. The key to this treasure chest lies in acquiring the skill to read. Once that is done, a new world opens out to you. And the surprises and gems in this are never ending. The world of reading books is equally endless. From ancient times, whatever knowledge has been acquired, and recorded, about any subject under the sun, you will find in books.

Reading books have been known to change lives. Criminals reading spiritual books in prison have been known to become saints. Of course for children, reading books starts with seeing the pictures in the pictures books. Slowly as they learn letters, words and the words start making sense, the excitement and the sense of achievement grows and then there’s no looking back.

Everyone has had a connect with books in some way or the other, be it those bed time reads or those exam reads. However, this was not the case always.

Reading and learning
Reading and learning

Books have not been so easily available in the past but today they are in plenty. The development of printing technologies have made books cheaper and made them more easily available to all.

Reading books comes with significance to the development of the individual. The first and most important benefit that is derived from books is the development of language. It helps build vocabulary and extend our understanding of words beyond just their meaning to understanding the context of their use.

The second is the development of cognitive abilities especially at the young age. It helps develop a perspective on various issues ranging from the self to the society. This enables us to understand societal problems as well as individual issues in a more comprehensive and holistic manner. In a world of internet where everything is just a search away, the benefits that books give us remain unchanged.

Beyond the realms of knowledge, books also play an important recreational role. It is never an overstatement to say that books are a window into the other world. They are big stress busters as they help us to escape from the stress and anxiety of everyday life. The added bonus here is that there is a book for everyone making it a perfect stress buster.

It helps in stimulating the brain and memory by increased cognitive function. It helps in keeping the brain healthy and stimulated. This also helps in keeping the creative energies active. Books help us to visualize the text and stimulate our creativity and imagination. Maintaining a regular reading habit can be helpful to us in the long run to keep ourselves updated and relaxed.

Reading books is an activity that most people have to undergo as a part of acquiring education.
Books of all kinds are available for you add to your knowledge. All you’ve got to do is pick up a book on a topic of interest and read. For children reading books is not only a fun activity but also adds to their confidence and achievement as they go on adding to the list of ‘Already read books’.

Reading books adds to your vocabulary and gives a better understanding of the usage of grammar practically. This goes particularly for children as they learn languages. When one learns a new language, the most useful thing to do apart from trying to converse with people in that language is to read books, especially children’s books in that language, which have easy grammar and a beginner’s level of grammar.
Reading books is a great hobby for many people. Even in the era of digitization, e-books are a solution for technology savvy book lovers.

Reading room
Reading room

Reading Bedtime stories are still a favorite activity for many children across the globe. A parent reading stories to children in bed gets to bond even better with them. Reading books is a privilege that is available to most people. However not many people can get this in the modern life of rush.

With the advent and influx of technology the old ways of news reading are being replaced by new ways. News is manually tailored to capture the attention of its reader and is even available in a concise format. There are several news apps that provide e-papers and tit-bits of news as notifications/updates for their users. We can now access news online on our mobiles, tablets and other devices in the form of digital newspapers and digital magazines. From the most rural parts of the nation to the metropolitan cities, newspapers and magazines are available everywhere. The problem of accessibility has been bridged by technology. So, what are we waiting for?

1. Enrich Your Knowledge
With every story or article that is read, the reader acquires knowledge about the events taking place across the world. News reading is the quickest and most concise way to gather knowledge about state and global affairs. Since news agencies cover all subjects of interest like Politics, Fashion, Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment, and more, the reader is constantly updated about all these facets.

2. Stay Connected With The World
No matter where you live, news works like strands of threads that weave the urban and rural population together. It is possible to constantly stay informed about the events of a city, town, village. With access to e-papers and e-magazines, the reader doesn’t have to struggle too much to get his hands on the news— with real-time updates.

3. Strengthen your Language skills and Enhance your Vocabulary
News reading not only builds knowledge but also contributes in other ways to an individual’s development. Voracious and dedicated news reading can help one build on their language and enhance their vocabulary. It can also help one connect the dots to form the larger picture and understand how the economy, politics, environment and everything is interlinked.

4. Be Part of a Larger Conversation
It is highly essential to be a responsible and active citizen of the country. This entails being actively involved in the development and progress of the nation, even if it’s through dialogue or conversation. Reading the news makes it easier for one to associate and draw parallels when people have conversations about current events and politics. This way as an informed and responsible citizen, one can be part of the larger conversations that require important discussions about the state and nation.

The importance of reading for kids
The importance of reading for kids

5. Be Informed About the Latest Discoveries and Innovations
Reading news can help you acquire a knowledge base about the different things like Politics, Sports, Entertainment, Science, etc. You can be in the loop about the latest discoveries made in a certain field, for example, if Science were to come up with a cure for diabetes. Through news reading, you’re constantly updated and involved.

In conclusion, let’s understand that news reading can have several benefits that are interlinked and can open up avenues to increasing knowledge, decreasing illiteracy and in turn creating a more informed and responsible society.

And last but not least some advice about Reading Strategies.

If you practice reading you can get used to find information quickly and efficiently. So first you must identify the text type. Look at headings, images, layout and other types of text (links, footnotes, etc.). Think about the structure. How is information usually organized in this text type? Next, try to identify the sections that might have the information you need. Remember, you don’t need to read every word. Just look for words connected to the information you need.

While reading you can learn new vocabulary, therefore try to avoid using a dictionary immediately and first, look at the context in which the word is placed and try to guess the meaning. Look at the word parts. Is it the verb, noun or adjective form of a word you already know? Try to identify similes, or comparisons with as … as and like. Think about the qualities the two things share. Try to identify idioms: expressions whose meaning isn’t obvious. Think about the image they create.

Recognize reasons and results;

Always look for the linking expressions because (of), as, since and due to for reasons. Look for verbs that introduce results like cause, change, produce, make and result in;
Understand links between and within sentences;
Look for words and phrases that: link events in time (once, by the time), add additional or contrasting ideas (what is more, however), show reasons and results (since, consequently), express conditions (i1 as long as), express the writer’s attitude (unfortunately, surprisingly, curiously).

Understand opinions

Look for words / phrases that:
introduce opinions: think, believe, find; personally;
evaluate something: fascinating; worth doing;
make comparisons: more, less; I’d have preferred …;
introduce other people’s opinions: claim, argue; according to; apparently;

Reading skills infographic
Reading skills infographic

The goal of reading instruction is to give students the ability to read, comprehend, and learn from texts. Developing strong readers requires providing them with a deep foundation of knowledge about words which they can then access to make meaning. Reading research has led to an understanding of how the brain reads and the types of instruction that develop strong and proficient readers. Repeatedly, research has demonstrated that effective instruction explicitly teaches the following subskills:

• Phonemic awareness
• The Alphabetic Principle and systematic phonics
• Fluency and high frequency words
• Vocabulary development
• Handwriting and spelling
• Reading comprehension (NICAD, 2000; Moats, 1998)
• Research has also demonstrated the benefits of a holistic, multi-sensory approach where students are taught language by ear (speech perception), by mouth (speech production), by eye (reading), and by hand (writing) (Berninger, 2012).

To find out more about the importance of reading you can also read:

Reading strategies

Literature and life

Literary theory

Thoughts about literature

The nature and essence of literature

The Essence of grammar and other texts

Reading quotes and aphorisms

Autonomous learning

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