I loved books as a child all the way through becoming a full grown adult (and a full time parent!). Trying to piece together where my love of books came from is important to me as it means I can more easily pass that same passion onto my children, but it actually turns out to be quite difficult trying to pinpoint where a childhood passion originates from. Neither of my siblings read much and none of us were encouraged to read an awful lot. The only thing I did have was my mother who never seemed to read much yet always had a large box of her own books. In retrospect, I think I read more of her own books than she did!
With that in mind I am on a quest to fill my sons room with as many brilliant books that I can find. Even if he doesn't quite end up reading all of them I know that an easy level of access will greatly improve his chances of one day being a total book-worm, just like his dad.
I'm not sure if you remember but back at school it always seemed to me that in general the kids who read a lot for fun also seemed to be getting the highest grades. Now i'm older you can actually press a few buttons on a computer to find out if there's actually any validity to that observation (thank you google!).
Here is one source looking for the correlation between reading for pleasure and academic success, it's definitely a bit heavy on the eyes (and the brain) so I've summed up the main points below also: https://www.shsu.edu/academics/education/journal-of-multidisciplinary-graduate-research/documents/2016/WhittenJournalFinal.pd
Pleasure reading among teens aged fifteen to seventeen is on the decline. While teens gave various reasons for electing to forgo reading for fun, professionals in education agreed that choosing to read self-selected literature for pleasure can, and did, improve student academic performance. The decline of pleasure reading among teens could be responsible, at least in part, to low-level vocabulary development, subpar writing skills, and unsatisfactory performance in science, math, and history.
Reading helps students think critically and improves reading comprehension skills, which is beneficial in every subject area measured in this study. However, the benefits of pleasure reading do not end in the classroom. Students take the skills they have honed through reading into adulthood and, in turn, into the workforce and society.
Average grade results for leisure readers and non-leisure readers
To me it seems like a no-brainer that we should encourage our children to read as much as possible and do our best to instil a life-long passion.
If you've ever been on Goodreads, then you'll know its one of the biggest online book-hubs in the world. Literally every book you can think of is on there somewhere and it's the one place I scour constantly looking for my next rainy Sunday.
Oh, the places you'll go! by Dr. Seuss is one absolute gem I found there recently. It's quite literally one of the highest rated books I've seen on the platform (4.35/5 with almost 200k ratings!) and boy it does deliver!
Telling the lovely story of a little boy as he stumbles his way through life, it is an engaging story filled with your beloved and classic Dr Seuss illustrations that also contains deep lessons about the hardships and struggles of life. The child in the book is on a quest of self-discovery and warmly reminded by the narrator how much potential and inner strength lies in him (the same with any young person). It is a very internally focused message, instilling the idea that we as individuals have autonomy over our lives. The harder we work and the more focused we can be, then the more results we can get out of life, we choose our own fate.
What makes this book so meaningful however is, ironically for a children's book, it's darker side. Despite it's overall uplifting and inspiring message it also maintains a stark realism. Life will not always be so wonderful, there are times when you will undoubtedly feel down, rejected or lonely. This book highlights these moments as during one point, the little boy's blazing balloon pops and he is left trapped and all alone. Through the narrators encouraging words your child will learn that these setbacks in life can and will happen to you but if you persevere and carry on climbing you can inevitably conquer all the obstacles in your path (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!).
Overall its a wonderful message for your children that maintains positivity and encouragement, even through the inevitable rough and hard patches of life. 5/5 and would highly recommend this for any child's book-shelf.
Dennis - Owner and founder of Teeny Wee