Readers Celebrate! A Month for a Good Book
First of all, thanks for taking part in National Reading Month. If you’re reading this blog, you are joining in the celebration that comes from comprehending words on a page. It doesn’t matter whether you indulge through an e-reader, immerse yourself in the audiobook experience during your workout, or find yourself hooked on a real, “old school” page-turner, March is a month to get acquainted with a good book.
Reading provides you with a multitude of benefits that enhance your mind and body. Even if most of your reading material is for entertainment, it’s hard to avoid learning something. Regular readers are almost assured of encountering words that they’re unfamiliar with, and by looking them up, expanding their vocabulary. Taking in the stories of different people opens our heads to new ideas, and improves our ability to perceive alternative viewpoints. Vicariously, we can travel to other places and other times – even to those that may not actually exist or haven’t happened yet! Reading is the gateway to lifelong learning that is so important to maintaining brain health as we get older. And it’s how we make sure that as we get older, we also get wiser!
The written word is also the key to opportunity. No trail to success can be blazed effectively without reading. Every occupation entails instructions to be followed, cautions and warnings to be heeded, and communicating with other people. Continuing education in all fields takes reading in order to advance. Few skills provide more prospects for achievement than reading.
“Each one, teach one”
Another rewarding reading opportunity comes from reading to others and helping them to gain the gift of reading. Reading to our children puts them on the path to become avid readers. Many libraries, community centers and schools have volunteer programs for those who would like to read to kids. National Reading Month is also a time for us to recognize that there are many adults who, for many reasons, didn’t learn to read. Literacy projects in most communities are seeking volunteers to help people of all ages to learn to read. If you can read, you already possess the skills necessary to open an entire world of pages to another individual.
During the National Reading Month of March, we encourage you to celebrate all that books, magazines, the Internet, as well as real and virtual libraries have to offer you. Make it a chance to explore a new subject, expand your knowledge of a favorite writer’s oeuvre (and add that one to your vocabulary!), or test out a dramatic reading of a children’s story before bedtime. Whatever you choose to read, try to appreciate how valuable and gratifying this fundamental skill is to you. It’s a wonderful gift you can pass on to others, yet still keep it for a lifetime.