My name is Janet, and I blog over at The Storyteller. I generally like to blog about anything and everything, but one of those things is books. I have always loved reading, and that’s because my parents (my mum in particular) was very keen on making sure we read. I will be forever grateful that my mum encouraged me to read from a young age, because without it, I wouldn’t have been as interested in the course I am now studying at University. (English with American Literature, if you’d like to know!)
One of my favourite books from when I was younger is “The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark” by Jill Tomlinson. If you hadn’t figured by the title, it’s about an owl who was afraid of the dark. It was one of those books that I would either want read to me, or when I was old enough I would read over and over again. Although it’s a fictional story, it’s something that children can learn from early on. They can learn about animals and they can also learn about overcoming an obstacle, such as being afraid in the dark!
But the real question is WHY should children read? I think that children need to read, and be encouraged to enjoy it because, most importantly, they can learn English (or whatever is their first language). Children can learn early on about things like punctuation, grammar, differences in sentence length… can you tell I’m an English student yet? But not only that, books and reading ignite children’s imagination. I would hate to see my future kids choosing a phone over a book.
When I was younger, we would play Harry Potter games outside (outside?! gasp!) with my cousins who are huge Harry Potter nerds. Not that I’m not a Harry Potter nerd too, but I think because my cousins are all older than me, I wanted to be able to read all the Harry Potter books too, so I could know what they were talking about and join in on conversations. And Harry Potter games, of course.
You could also look at film franchises which have been adapted from books. Although I usually try and read the book before watching the film, I think that if you haven’t read the book and enjoy the film, it encourages you to read the book as well. This can be said for the Twilight series, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, The Maze Runner and so many more.
One of the things that frustrates me about the British government, in particular, is that they’re often talking about cutting funds for the arts, but they don’t seem to realise that books are put into this category. If you study English at university, you will be studying a Bachelor of the Arts degree. So by cutting these funds, then school libraries will also be affected by this and eventually we’ll end up in a world where reading isn’t regarded as something that’s important. Does that make sense?
So what is my point after this un-intentionally long post? If you are a parent, or ever become a parent, then please encourage reading in your household. Reading should be seen as something that’s cool, fun, exciting, rather than just a chore. I was always read to before I went to bed, and I feel a bit sorry for my parents because they had three kids who all wanted a different story read to them each night! But this should be a sacrifice any parent should be willing to make. Also, I heard somewhere that reading before going to sleep actually helps you sleep better but I can’t remember where I read that so… you’re just going to have to take my word for it!
I think I’m going to bring this very long post to an end now. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I genuinely enjoyed writing it! And thank you to Kayleigh for letting me write this guest post!