As the holiday season is in full swing – many of us are looking for that special something to give. For me it has always been books. I love to read.
Reading enhances many aspects of life – it opens doors, it expands curiosity, it activates the imagination, it stimulates thinking, and it promotes communication. For many of us – reading is second nature – but for some – it is a luxury. For example in a recent interview with David Risher on NPR he tells of an experience in Ecuador where the library was locked and children did not have access to the books. This experience has inspired him to work with tools that are available in developing countries to get books into the hands of children. While it may seem counter intuitive – eReaders and cell phones – seem to be a great solution.
There is a meme going around on Facebook – showing a child sitting on Santa’s lap saying that the toys wanted for Christmas included space travel, rocket ships, jungles, animals, etc. Santa gives him a library card.
As a child we moved all the time (I am from a military family) – one of the first places I went in our new hometown was the library as it opened the doors to the community and that is where the books were. My home is filled with books (my husband made the mistake when we first were married saying he would never question my expenditures on books – not sure he still shares that sentiment as we now have more books than many small town libraries).
So the gift of reading to me is invaluable – reading to children is a way of spreading that gift. Books allow people to explore without every leaving the comfort of their favorite chair. We have gotten away from reading due to the television and video on demand – but reading, at least to me, is much more expanding and thought provoking.
Reading teaches, reading shares life stories, reading opens opportunities, and creates visions.
So – this holiday season – or anytime – give the gift that expands a person’s world – a book.
For you science lovers – here is a link to the podcast from the AAAS describing this year’s science book recommendations for young readers. My particular favorite is Rosie Revere, Engineer.