Dr Seuss, the famous children’s author, is quoted as saying, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” However, we find that children today learn a lot from sources like television and the internet. Often we allow these to substitute reading a book.
As part of our work as librarians, we conducted a survey correlating book-reading and marks in one of the leading CBSE schools in the city. We found that students who read 4 or more novels (story books) a month score 95% on average and students who read less than 1 novel (story books) a month score less than 65% on average in their exams.
In order to explain such a strong indicator, we must understand what reading a book involves. While television is easy on the mind, a book is more demanding — it forces a child to use her mind. A book also allows the child to pause and think — a very important part of learning. By reading a book, a child reinforces her language skills. Reading also hones subtler skills like patience.
But, the most important aspect of all is that reading a story book prepares a child to read bigger books in the future. It is likely that by the time your child reaches college, she will be exposed to academic books that run into hundreds of pages. For her to be able to patiently turn through those pages, it is essential that she be used to reading big books. And what better way to start reading big books than to read big story books?
Children who read a lot of books are often much more patient. They have a better command on their language and communication skills. They are smarter and more importantly, they score better marks. It is important for every parent to understand this it’s not that ‘children who get high grades read more books’. Instead, we find that ‘children who read more books get high grades’.
In order to foster the reading habit, access to a good library is very important. A child with such access will be able to choose the books that are right for her and cultivate the habit.
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