Actually, a more descriptive title for this post is “The Inescapable Consequences of Loving to Read”, but the words didn’t seem to flow off the lips when saying it out loud. Truthfully, the title is long enough, so I’ll let this post reveal what the title may be lacking. When I say “inescapable”, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m not placing “reading” in a negative connotation by any means; in fact, “inescapable” is meant to highlight the unavoidable causes, resulting from the effects of reading. And the unavoidable causes are all positive in nature.
Some Consequences of Reading/Loving to Read:
- stronger verbal communication skills
- stronger vocabulary (in conversation)
- more comprehensive recognition of definitions
- entertainment needs met inexpensively (through books)
- increased knowledge of a subject matter
- stronger editing and proofreading skills
- stimulation of the imagination and creative tendencies
- more enriched storytelling
- connection with others through literature
- stronger written communication skills (one of the perks, continuing to benefit me to this very day).
Now, I must admit that I’ve just recently strengthened my presence on the reading-for-the-love-of-it track. Somewhere around my Junior/Senior years of high school and all throughout college is where my reading mindset was truly challenged. During this time frame, reading was somewhat of a mandatory call to action. I found myself reading but not on my own terms. Oftentimes, my reading was “required” and it covered topics and story lines I wasn’t necessarily interested in. So, my reading for enjoyment was tested with my responsibility to read. And after college, family and work life became the priorities and didn’t lend much time to reading for the pure joy of it. Albeit, I did happen to sporadically peruse some John Grisham books throughout my young adult years.
Regardless of the amount of mandatory and uninteresting materials I was required to absorb, I value (and continue to value) reading for reading’s sake. My love for reading was developed at a young age and obviously started with reading books that were extremely entertaining to me as a youngster. Throughout my higher education and work experience, I may have initially devalued the content that I was “forced” to read as school and work-related assignments. But, I’ve learned to appreciate the overall win-win fundamentals of reading for all the bullet point reasons above. Getting to read the type of content that excites me is simply the cherry on top. Today, I firmly believe one of the main reasons I’m writing is because I’ve spent a lifetime of loving to read.
I said all of the above to say . . . my life writing assignment with Little Man didn’t go over so well this summer. He started school yesterday, so any hopes of daily journaling and writing stories is realistically over at this point (unless these assignments are given as school work by his teacher). For whatever reasons, we never got going on the writing activities. In my defense and in recognition of his hard work, Little Man did spend his summer break working (sometimes reluctantly) on almost daily math problems, reading comprehension questions (writing required), and book reading (verbally and silently). We just didn’t get the writing activities in the mix. And, to refresh your memory on some of the writing topics I had (in mind) for Little Man, see the list below (which appeared in a previous “Life Writing” post):
- his favorite activity (inside or outside of the home)
- his best day ever
- what his most delicious meal is or would look like
- his favorite superhero or someone who he admires
- if he could have any super power, what would it be and how would he use it
- what motivates/inspires him
- where he would like to go on vacation or his favorite vacation memory (a classic writing activity)
- what he wants to be when he grows up (another classic writing activity)
- what he would do with his money if he was rich
- a day in the life of Little Man (journaling)
I love this list of ideas and will attempt to use it again in the future. But for now, I’m hopeful that Little Man is going to be just fine. He’ll get plenty of practice on his writing skills during this fourth-grade school year and every year after that. Anyway, I have a feeling that he indirectly honed his writing skills through all the reading he did this summer.
Why do I think this? Well, the following conversation took place a couple of weeks or so ago and is absolutely priceless to me.
Little Man: “Mom, did I ever tell you this?”
Mom: “Tell me what?”
Little Man: “I love reading . . . especially interesting books.”
(AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. This conversation made me smile then and makes me smile every time I’ve thought about it thereafter. Who knows? Maybe another author-to-be is in the making. Just kidding. From what I can surmise to-date, I’m more inclined to think I have a builder prodigy on my hands. Time will definitely tell. If nothing else, I’m just thrilled he loves to read.)