Reading is More Important (than ever)

Mrs. Martin, the school librarian, approached me as I ran my fingers over the spines of the library books on the shelf. I wasn’t interested in any of them, and I think she knew. We’d been sent to the library to find a book to read during the breaks in our annual school testing. 

“Here, take this one. I think you’ll like what Miranda does during her summer.” 

I reluctantly checked out the book and returned to class. Mandatory reading was never my thing, but neither was school testing. So, I opened the book during the breaks and I escaped into Miranda’s world. Reading didn’t miraculously change my circumstances, but it sure helped me learn about a world besides my own.

March is National Reading Month—an effort to get everyone reading more every day. With a plethora of fake news, enticing clickbait, and shocking headlines, this could be the most critical time to encourage more reading amongst us all.

It’s so easy to scroll social media and catch the quick posts and think we have the news. But getting the truth behind the headlines takes more reading. Something that we have less time to do.

Or do we actually have less time?

Here in America, there are many who love to read. During 2019, we averaged over 10 trips to the library—making it the most common cultural activity we share. 

While we might imagine it’s the little kids and the elderly that comprise those library statistics, it was actually Americans ages 30-49 who went most often.

There’s a great list of books about current events and the history we share waiting on the shelves of our public libraries. Along with every other imaginable subject. All Free.

Here’s a Twilight Zone thought: Imagine a social media world, where before you could post, you had to fact-check your words. 

It can happen, if we read more.

Photo credits: #1 Johnny McClung #2  Kyle Glenn

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