I was recently talking to a friend of mine who owns an independent bookstore and coffee shop in Annapolis, and he said his sons hadn’t voluntarily picked up a book in their lives, and hadn’t read a book since graduating from college. This stunned me. Then it saddened me. How many kids are forever traumatized by the books they were forced to read in school. I’m afraid the effects are broader than I’d previously realized.
So imagine my joy last week when I walked into the local library with my three boys to hear them gasp in delight. In honor of Harry Potter’s birthday, the entire place was transformed into Hogwarts. The boys ran around checking out the posters, lego displays, costumes, and giant chess board. It was very satisfying to see them get such a thrill because of their connections to book characters. Kudos to the library for bringing books to life for children and encouraging a positive response to reading.
I, of course, have loved reading my whole life. It’s hard for me to imagine what it’s like not to always have a book to read. In my visits to local book clubs discussing my book, I’ve found so many book lovers who have had such positive reading experiences. I just saw this article, today, that asserts that just six minutes of reading a day can decrease stress levels by 68%. I can’t believe that everyone doesn’t do it!
Hopefully my boys will maintain the level of excitement they currently have throughout their schooling. Hopefully they will have teachers who bring literature to life for them. Their experience at the library was magical!