Why Is Reading So Important?

Reading matters. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Literacy is something we measure. Governments talk about certain communities having lower levels of literacy and it is something we use to compare wealth, and conversely, poverty. In my opinion, being literate should not be something you have to fight for. it should be an entitlement.

Now that is all very well to say but some people are not so bothered. People have different value systems and many believe it is more important for their kids to explore and be outside, to have fun and play. There is a place for that too.

However, if we don’t focus time and energy on reading skills at a young age then people suffer later on. If you grow up being unable to read, then you are disadvantaged in so many ways. You have a limited choice of careers, you will struggle to engage with daily tasks and manage you own affairs and you will find it much harder to pick up reading skills as you age.

Poorer countries don’t always have the money or skilled staff to provide schooling for everyone. in a modern world it seems ridiculous that this is the case. To me, the right to read is no different to the right to eat, be clothed and have shelter.

Let’s take a look at why reading matters.

1) Those who are learning to read do not always know how valuable this skill is. It is schools and parents who need to impart this fact. Being able to learn to read is in fact, wrongly, a privelage after all.

2) Most studying involves reading wisely. By this I mean scanning, remembering facts from books, understanding labelled diagrams and knowing how to be sceptical about documents.

3) Reading is fun. Just like most things, you need to practise using the skills to start enjoying it properly.

People don’t always value reading, even when they are lucky enough to have the opportunities to learn. Many do not even get the chance to learn to read.

4) Reading opens doors. Not just to work opportunities but also to other worlds. If you live in a small village in the mountains, you may know nothing about the Amazon but books can allow you to gain some understanding about such places.

5) Reading keeps your brain alert. It focuses your mind and prevents you from deskilling. Whether flicking through a newspaper, glancing at a blog or reading a recipe, these useful skills also help your brain stay well.

I wrote this article in response to hearing some people discussing how little reading mattered. They were saying as long as their kids were happy and had fun, it didn’t matter. As you can tell, I disagree. Reading is important, it is an entitlement and we should promote it as much as we can. Without being able to read, you are more likely to suffer as the world revolves around language and text.

If you have any thoughts on this, please comment below. If you enjoyed the post and want to read more of the same in future please consider following my blog and making my day.

31 thoughts on “Why Is Reading So Important?

  1. You’re so right, it’s really important, especially for young people, to read. I don’t think I did enough of it when I was young, but since I started blogging a few years ago, I’ve been reading much more! If I don’t have time to read, I tend to download an audiobook and will play it while on the treadmill or in the car.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Reading is so important, never more so in today’s digital world. It opens the mind, teaches you how to craft words, and you are never lonely with a book. Great post 🙂

  3. Wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve said! Reading is so important, for many reasons. I’ve always made sure my son appreciates reading books and I’m glad it’s continued as he loves to read a book or two each day and it helps him practice words.

  4. Great post, I so agree that reading is an important skill and a valuable one to have. I really is the door to so many opportunities while helping you learn about a way of life or experience you may never see in your lifetime. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great post! I completely agree. My husband and I have read to our boys since birth. They both read every day now.

  6. Being able to read is key to accessibility. If you can’t sufficiently or confidently read then it puts unnecessary barriers in place in life. You have to read in almost all aspects of life so it should be encouraged from a young age. I remember when I was teaching at an inner city school in London, an extremely clever boy in my class (8 years old) would only read dinosaur books/info. His mum was desperate as she thought he should read other things, I told her if he is passionate about something and he reads those regularly (he did) then don’t discourage him. Let him read all the dinosaur related content he wanted. He was allowed to find his love of reading and he actually ended up reading at an advanced level — I would love to see children be excited to read and find their way in to doing that. As a teacher it always felt that reading was so standardized it took all the joy out of it — and that’s what is missing. If parents would rather their children have fun it’s clear they see reading as something not to be enjoyed (a chore or educational only) — and they’re not wrong as I feel like schools/government policy have created this divide with the strict rules/regulations and policies that measure reading success. Reading is vital — I hope there’s a way to bring more people onboard with this (adults and children alike).

  7. Honesty Jamie I cannot even imagine how my life could be without reading. My relationship with reading and writing started long before I learn howbto read. I thought of written words as something magic… Little symbols with special noise combined diffently and creating another meaning, another world!
    Reading is so much more than just another skill that can be tought. Reading of course opens you up a whole new world. The world of knowledge. But it also offers you the ability to have fan and travel in magical places. Places much more vivid and felt real than any movie or virtual reality game can ever create. To conclude I totally agree with your post. Thank you for making us all think about the importance of reading 🙂

  8. Such a thoughtful response! I love that reading made such an impression early on. For me it started with mum reading to me short stories every day before bed. When I later got hooked on Narnia my interest took off. Thanks for sharing.

  9. As someone who learned English as a foreign language, reading helped me settle quicker.

  10. I’m with you. The day my older son strung 3 letters together and told me the word for the first time, aged 4, I almost cheered. Knowing that he had just pushed open the door to the world of facts and stories and books and eventually writing for his own joy, I was so excited for him. He’s heading for 10 now and reads at least an hour a day, ploughing through a book every day or two sometimes. His brother seems to have been bitten by the bug too. For their whole lives, they’ll have somewhere to escape to, the ability to research and understand first hand, and to learn whatever they want to.

  11. Yes. Us bloggers love books and I really hope we can spread the word. I have taught phonics and seen that spark as young people connect with books.

  12. Completely agree with this. I’ve always loved reading & owning books. I bought my little one loads before she was even born. She has the full Roald Dahl & Mr Men sets on her shelf. All bought from charity shops! It’s so so important for young kids & I regularly give money to reading charities, so they can give books to disadvantaged children. Great article!

  13. I totally agree with you about how important reading is and also baffled that anyone would think otherwise! Reading has opened so many doors for me and enabled me to travel the world and other places I can only imagine.

  14. I think you’re so right – it’s important for kids to read, not just to learn but to use their imagination and create a deeper understanding of the world.

  15. Reading is so important. I didn’t grow up as a reader but I wish I did. Here in japan, kids are taught to be readers as young as they are. skills are build from reading

  16. You will be surprised at how many adults in some countries, some in their 50s and 60s, who are unable to read and write. Many have made it their duty to ensure that their children are at least able to read. However, I think it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that all their citizens get an equal opportunity for a good education. As you said, reading 📚 is very fundamental and has many benefits.

  17. I love reading. It feels like I am traveling to another world and getting to go on an adventure. Reading is so important and I blessed to know how to read and love it. Great post

  18. This is such an important topic. My ex could barely read and not only did he struggle with daily tasks, such as recipe reading, it also affected his overall confidence too.

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