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More Reading, Better Writing

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In a society where everything is so fast-paced, on-the-go and digital, it is hard to find the time to read. I can admit with all honesty that I was never big on reading. As a kid I distracted myself with all kinds of activities just to avoid reading. It was a real chore for me and the idea of sitting still for an hour, trying to control my mind from wandering off did not seem like a good time. While I paraded my negative attitude towards reading, my parents and teachers desperately tried to explain how important it is and how much benefit it will bring me. Once I got to college I realized how much of a disservice I did myself by not reading. I was lacking much of the essential reading skills, such as the analytical process, the concentration, and probably the most important one of all, writing.

Let’s look at the physiological aspect of reading. When you read a book, article or any other piece of literature that is of interest to you, your brain sparks in several areas.  For starters, you are developing photographic memory, which in turn improves your spelling. When you read a book that captivates you, your brain is actually tricked into believe you have experienced that adventure you are reading about, since the same neurological regions are stimulated, whether you read or actually live it. Story structures in books encourages your brain to think in sequence, expanding your attention span. Also, reading expands your vocabulary, teaches you to form sentences correctly, and many more  benefits. While reading contributes to all mentioned above skills development, there is one very powerful skill that will follow you through life, and that is writing.

Regardless of what career path you take, whether it is in publishing, advertising, or even the fashion industry, writing is one of the essentials that will get you that dream job. There are two ways to become a better writer: write a lot and read a lot.

Now as an adult, I look forward to sitting down with a good book, one that captures my full attention and makes me tune out from the rest of the world. And perhaps this was the element that I was missing as a child, reading a book that fully captivated me. As a parent, you must recognize your child’s interests, since that can be the only way your little one will want to read.  Kids must associate reading with joy and fun.   One way to do so is lead by example and show your kids how much fun you are having while reading. Other ways such as having a good home library, filled with classic adventure books such as Jules Verne, who wrote one of my favorite books “Around the World in 80 Days”. And there are countless others, such as “Matilda” written by Roald Dahl and a few modern written award-winning authors, for example two famous awards for children’s literature made each year by the American Library Association that are good indicators of quality work: the Caldecott Medal for illustration and the Newbery Medal for writing. But these are given to only two of the approximately 2,500 new children’s books published each year.

I must add that these books kids read do not have to be hard copies. We must recognize that technology is part of the kids’ world today and it is not used only for playing. Letting your children read from their favorite tablet is another great way to get them to read. There are tablets on the market that provide all the parental controls needed to have  peace of mind when your child is alone with it. They also come preloaded with tons of educational apps and games that your kids will love and won’t feel like they are learning, but their brains will.

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