Two men reading

THE IMPORTANCE OF BOOKS

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes to do. I keep a list of all books completed, along with personal thoughts on my interpretation of the story. It’s a small book journal I picked up at Barnes & Nobles and I absolutely love it. Books are an important part of life, but busy schedules keep most people from reading a book in their spare time. As children we are encouraged to read, but as most reach adulthood, books are often left behind.

With the amount of time people spend on social sites like face book, snapchat, Instagram (usually on their phones), they could spend that time reading a chapter book. A book helps us to use our imagination and forces the reader to use mental images, while creating scenarios based on characters as well as the plot. The importance of reading helps us to focus on what someone else is communicating; it exercises the mind. The mind is a muscle and develops over time, enabling its ability to understand the written words. The more you read, the easier it becomes, not to mention…it gets the creative juices flowing. It also helps to expand your vocabulary while getting self-educated. A couple of interesting facts; self-made millionaires read approximately 2 or more books a month, while CEO’s read approximately 5 books a month. Reading makes us more intelligent. It boosts brain power while helping to articulate your thoughts; it’s a win-win for all.

Great books have the power to change your life…if you let it. It can lift your spirits, and help guide you. You’ll find it can give you the sense of belonging, as others have similar feelings. Books share a variety of things; an author’s story, point of view, theory, facts, emotions and more. It teaches you to listen, which is also an important part of reading. Books give the readers an opportunity to think about what was read, with no right or wrong way to interpret the written story. Sometimes it helps us to realize we are all human, often deepening our gratitude.

Reading has declined in the U.S. Close to a quarter of American adults don’t read books at all; according to Pew Research Center. The national assessment of adult literacy shows over 40% of adults residing in the U.S. has basic or below the basic literacy skills. For those with children, having low literacy skills, the battle remains…they’ll (children) have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves, furthering absenteeism and drop-out rates. I find these statistics alarming when thinking of OUR future America. For more facts on the decline of Literacy and more info on how you can help, please visit … https://www.proliteracy.org/Adult-Literacy-Facts.org … their mission; to empower adults through literacy worldwide. Visit your local library or bookstores and start reading today. Libraries often sell used books in a designated area, if you’re looking to take one home. Otherwise, apply for a library card and check one out for free. You can also check out book clubs online.

Make your week count.

This post originally appeared in the Mesquite Local News. The READ Center also believes in the importance and power of reading.

Karen is READ's Executive Director.