The glass doors of the GraceKennedy Information Resource Centre (GIRC) reveals a variety of books that would make an avid reader fall in love. It is as though the books were saying, “Read me”, all at once. These books were not meant to be hidden but instead displayed for all to see and borrow.
The sad fact is that most individuals do not take advantage of the opportunity to read unless it is job-related or for course requirements. Ms. Lurline Cummings, Information Resource Specialist suggests that it is not always a matter of dislike for reading but many individuals do not read because they simply do not have the time. She cited very dynamic home and work environments as reasons given why persons find little or no time to read. She thinks that it is mostly teens (to whom everything is boring except for their smartphones) who complain about a dislike for the activity.
Reading is very important to everyday life as there are many benefits attached to this activity. Some of these are outlined below.
The statement made by Joseph Addison, English writer extraordinaire, that “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”, is indeed true. Scientists have discovered that the cortex lights up when an individual is engaged in an activity such as reading. This mental stimulation is what keeps the brain active and healthy. Ms. Cummings also stated that reading stretches the mind as it sharpens imagination.
The habit of reading allows for one to be socially mobile because it helps one to become more adept at language thus enabling them to speak and write well. The avid reader continued to explain the following quote by Jim Kwik, memory and speed reading expert ,‘if knowledge is power, then learning is a superpower’, and therefore to become a master in any field one has to read.
Reading can be one of the greatest stress reducers as it can provide a sense of peace and well-being. Likewise, it allows time travel and vicarious pursuits. Ms. Cummings shared that, “I’ve never been to Europe or Africa but I can speak fairly intelligently about Paris, Rome, South Africa and other places simply because at various times I’ve indulged myself in reading whether fictional or non-fictional writings and transported myself to these realms.”
She opined that there are individuals who earlier in life claimed to dislike reading but later discovered how enlightening and pleasurable reading is, through friends, teachers and relatives and in turn develop a liking for the habit to the extent of it even becoming an hobby. Sometimes the dislike stemmed from not being properly socialized to read, and the remedy is usually to provide exposure to books appropriate for their age levels and interests.
Today technology provides us with different modes of delivering content in addition to print but the activity has not changed, one has to read. With the many personal benefits that come from developing the habit of reading, will you now make time to read?