By Maggie Dempewolf
Why is reading important? Most people nowadays hardly ever give books a second glance. Let me tell you this, how did the first Americans ever get their knowledge? Books, that where they got it from. Now, I do agree with everyone else in this world that technology is a major part of our lives, but what ever happened to getting everything you needed from books? Yeah, it is nice to have everything at your fingertips. But at the same time, books can be a lot less harmful than technology can be. I also want to touch on the fact that kids nowadays seem to use only technology when getting their school work done. What happened to cracking open a textbook and getting your homework done from there? Reading is an essential skill in life. Yes, some people think that reading is boring. They think that staring at physical page with words on it is a waste of time. I mean, yes, there are many other great things we could do in our free time, but reading would be one of the best things. Reading can help us unwind and take a step back from reality. We can immerse ourselves in these huge and amazing worlds that can only be found in books. We can read about all sorts of things, whether its fictional or nonfictional. And before you know it, you will have gotten so deeply enthralled with your book that you have ended up spending the whole day reading.
My love for reading started at a very young age. I personally really like to read fantasy books, as well as murder mystery. I believe that the first book that really got me into reading fantasy was the book “The Tale of Desperaux” by Kate DiCamillo. I first read this book I think when I was in the fifth grade. I remember that I loved this book so much that I think I probably checked it out at least 10 different times. The book has such an amazing storyline about a talking mouse who goes off to save a princess. I still read this book from time to time as it reminds me of my childlike wonder from when I was little. I currently have over 80 books in my personal collection and I hope to gain a lot more as the years go on.
Back to why reading is important. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, the number of Americans who read books has dropped by 7% in the past decade. I really think that this needs to change. Reading has become less and less popular because people either don’t have books they enjoy or they simply just can’t find time to read. Reading seems to be especially unpopular among the younger generations. I believe that if we really instill reading into the younger generations and don’t give them as much access to technology right away, that reading will eventually become more popular.
Personally, I think that curling up on the couch with a good book and a warm blanket sounds like a great way to spend my free time. There are so many different things we get out of reading. We can enhance our knowledge about real world things, we can have fun learning about characters and all the adventures they go on, and we can even make ourselves smarter about things that are impacting our daily lives. I think even just 15-30 minutes of reading each day is a good amount. You don’t need to spend the entire day reading, but just take a few minutes to step back from the world and unwind with a good book. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore either; it should be just a nice little break in your day. There is no limit to how many books we should read. The more you read, the better it will be.
Maggie Dempewolf is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of 17 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 24th year.
Sandy Webb says
YES! Reading is crucial to us humans. Thanks for opening up that discussion. For me, reading in a deep thoughtful way helps me to process information. Below the surface, reading makes information accessible to us, enables us to interact with ideas. Also, when we read, we get to use our delightful ability to imagine.