Some children can’t wait to open their book and find out where the next chapter takes the journey. Others might have trouble reading or they might not have discovered a book that has resonated with them. While not everyone loves to read, even those who dislike reading may find themselves getting lost in a book.
Parents might hear their children complain to them in a frustrated tone: “Why do I have to read?” Here are 25 reasons to read that parents can share with their children:
- Hearing parents read books aloud can help increase a child’s vocabulary knowledge. In fact, one study found that children who read five books a day had been exposed to more than one million more words when they started kindergarten than children whose parents didn’t read to them.
- Reading fiction stories and books can help children become more empathetic. Through stories and books, children might step into the shoes of a character; this experience can help children see different perspectives and perhaps even relate better to others.
- Reading can help aid sleep. Turn off those screens and encourage children to pick up a book instead. Reading is work for the brain and it can make the eyes feel tired. Plus, reading can be relaxing.
- Books and stories could improve mood by lowering cortisol levels. Reading a happy story, a fairy tale or even a comic book could make the reader laugh or smile. The stories can make the reader feel what the character feels, too. In fact, some readers are known as ‘mood readers’—they choose their books by their mood.
- Reading can be a doorway into learning and gaining new information. The ability to read fluently allows children and adults to learn new skills and tasks. Textbooks hold information related to specific subjects, and nonfiction books can help readers learn more about a specific era, civilization or historical figure.
- Reading can help improve memory and decrease the risk of dementia. One study found that reading and other activities could help keep the mind stimulated and protect it against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Books can transport the reader to another land. By reading a book, an individual can travel to a new planet, city, country or continent without leaving home. Books let us explore the seemingly unknown or the boundaries beyond our comfort zone.
- Reading isn’t limited to books. Children who don’t love reading might not love reading standard books. Comic books, newspapers, and magazines are alternative forms of reading materials that could be appealing to those who feel intimidated about reading longer books.
- Reading isn’t a competition. Books are fun and should be enjoyable. Children shouldn’t compare themselves and what they read to their friends. Every reader has personal preferences related to what types of books they like to read; everyone might read at a different pace, too.
- There might be a book for everyone. The library is filled with shelves of different book genres and authors. Children often have their own space in libraries; find picture books, children’s fiction and nonfiction stories, too. Uncovering the ideal book might be a bit of a treasure hunt; encourage children to seek out literary treasure.
- Reading can make a better reader. Reading regularly could help children gain confidence and proficiency. The best way to become a better reader is to practice, which is why daily reading is so important.
- Words are everywhere. The very act of reading is fundamental to daily life. Adults need to be able to decode and read street signs, read contracts, understand written directions and so much more. Reading is a necessary skill, and it can be an important survival skill, too (think about ‘Do Not Enter’ signs or other written warnings).
- Reading can be a fun mind vacation. Getting lost in a book is a bit of a vacation for the mind. Through books, readers can meet new friends, explore different places and even enjoy a world where fantasy creatures like dragons are real.
- Reading can build friendship bridges. A book can be a shared experience that starts a friendship or even just a conversation.
- Books and stories can help individuals understand their heritage and the past, too. Reading can include stories related to cultural traditions that help individuals learn more about their ancestors. Other books can help readers learn about the past and why specific events are important and can help teach about how to learn from those events.
- Reading can become unbound. Ereaders allow books to be read on mobile devices like phones and tablets; some individuals prefer reading a book on their screen.
- Reading can help boost analytical skills. When reading a book, the mind might try to make predictions or think deeper about a character and their motives. In high school and college, students will be expected to analyze text to infer meaning and even compare/contrast events in the book to current events.
- Reading could encourage the reader to set goals or dream big. Reading a book about a famous musician or a nonfiction book where the main character overcomes obstacles to achieve their dream could be motivating. In addition, books could help children identify their own future goals.
- Reading is free. Those with access to a library can read books and stories for free. In this way, books are a free leisure activity.
- Books and stories can quell boredom. Children or adults with nothing to do could read a book, a magazine or even a comic book to enter a new adventure.
- Reading can be rewarding. Finishing a long book can feel like an achievement. There is a degree of personal satisfaction that is associated with reading the last page of a book. Reading, in many ways, can be its own reward.
- Reading can help lead to finding the answers to questions. The tech-centered world might find answers by Googling, but the popular search engine might not always lead to the exact answer to a question. Sometimes reading a book on a specific subject is the best way to obtain information and find the answers to some questions.
- Books can focus on a particular interest. Some adults and children have a particular interest or passion; this could be weather events, a video game, a historical time period or something else entirely. Books can devote hundreds of pages to a particular subject and immerse the reader in all the information they could possibly want or need about their passions and interests.
- Books can help us prepare for an event or life milestone. Children can read books that help prepare them before they visit the dentist, have a specific surgery or visit a new city. Books can help us prepare for a new adventure or help decrease our fears by improving our knowledge and giving us access to information.
- Books can help the reader not feel so alone. Sometimes reading a book helps the reader understand that someone else has had a similar life experience. A book and a simple story could help the individual feel seen and understood. Books can unite and help readers understand that sometimes the human condition is a shared one.
Children who are rolling their eyes at the expectation of reading for 30 minutes a day might feel that they have better ways to spend their time. Reading has so many benefits for the body and the mind; reading is crucial to learning and can even help individuals find their passion. Reading can help aid sleep, make us feel happier and a good book might start conversations to be the bridge that begins a great friendship, too.