Some years ago in my youth I worked at our community public library. When I began working I coveted the Nancy Drew section and read every book. I’ve always read, and I’m an avid supported of the public library. Some years later my daughter worked at that same library and later the university library. My husband is on the board of directors at our community library. The granddaughters love to be read to and are beginning to become aware of the thrill of reading by themselves. We are a reading family!
Recently as I was reading to my granddaughters I became acutely aware of the reading privilege. It wasn’t that long ago in our country’s history that only those with means went to school and learned to read. It is a gift to read.
Reading opens doors, allowing life to happen. If one is fortunate enough to live in a community with a near-by library, reading possibilities are endless. Story hour for the young is a blessing. Reading in all seasons of one’s life certainly passes long days.
The benefits to reading are many: keeps one’s mind sharp at any age, reduces stress and can be a quiet factor, increases vocabulary and writing skills, just to name a few. Reading is a fundamental function in today’s society. It is essential in finding a job.
Prof. A.C. Grayling, in a review of A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel wrote, “To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”
Reading hasn’t changed, but the way we read has. Ever-changing technology allows a reader to download and borrow books via e-readers. Imagine a home without a single paper book on a shelf. I hope that my grandchildren would miss my voice when reading a book instead of clamoring for digital sounds, or that they can hear the shuffling of pages and the noise of cracking the binding.
Are you a digital reader or prefer the book to lay open in your hands? How do you see the future of literature coming into our lives?
Syd Brinkman, of Allison, Iowa, prefers the feel of an open book in her hands. Syd serves on the churchwide executive board.