Earlier this week I was wondering what makes a reader. Is it a learned behavior? Are some people more inclined to enjoy the written word, as opposed to watching a movie or playing a video game or participating in sporting events? I know that my mother read to us constantly when we were young, but my older brother is not a reader, and he finds the entire process of reading a book to be an unpleasant chore. He would rather be doing something, anything, other than flipping through the pages of a book.
I remember spending summer days at my maternal grandmother’s house. She read, too. All the time! She read everything, including The NY Times, and she had a subscription to The Reader’s Digest Condensed Editions. She had bookshelf after bookshelf in her basement, crammed full of books. Tons and tons of books! Leave Her to Heaven, Ben-Hur, Jubilee Trail, The Crystal Cave, and countless gothics. Older books, books from a different generation, but timeless and alluring. What a magical place to spend the afternoon!
There was one other magic thing in the basement, and that was a box of my uncle’s old comic books. Most of them were Archie comics, and I loved them so much! We didn’t have comic books at my house, and I am not sure why. My dad thought they were a waste of time, but my mom was always of the opinion that reading was reading. It didn’t matter what we were reading, as long as we were reading something. I read and re-read those comics, and amazingly, so did my brother.
Now I wonder, if he had been provided with a stream of comic books, would he have been a reader, too? Does it matter what you read, as long as you read something? I believe that there is worth and value to all words, regardless of format. Isn’t it better to have a developing reader consume comics than to read nothing at all? What do you think? I know a lot of parents resist, and I ‘m not sure why. There are age appropriate titles on the market, and some kids just don’t have the patience or are intimidated by stories written in a longer format. Isn’t it better to reel them in with comics, to help build confidence, and make them readers for life?Powered by Sidelines