I remember as a child when I first learned how to really read. Not just laboriously figure out what each word was and then have to go back and figure out the meaning of the sentence, but how to read well enough that I could see the story unfolding before my eyes. I think that experience (and every time I pick up a good book to this day) is the closest I will ever come to magic.
Books have not only entertained me, but they’ve taught me about the world – what different places are like, and how people live in them. They’ve also taught me about myself. I’ve learned how to identify feelings, connect them to events in my life and how to empathize with other people by first empathizing with the fictional friends I encountered on the page.
I can’t imagine being denied this simple yet incredibly complex experience. It is something that has touched me, shaped me and made me who I am. It has allowed me to explore parts of the world and human experience I never could have otherwise. When I read about the skyrocketing statistics on illiteracy and the millions of children around the world who will never be given the opportunity to step into another world through some simple marks printed on a page, it makes me sad beyond describing.
And though I love a good movie and am addicted to TV (yes, I admit it), there will always be time in my life for books. I think I need to make more time for them, actually. If I ever have a family, I’ll make sure my kids learn to enjoy reading – regardless of whether they’re reading comic books, newspapers or novels. And I hope reading will take them to as many amazing places as I’ve been. //<![CDATA[ var sc_project=10144299; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_security="82f610c9"; var scJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://secure." : "http://www."); document.write("”); //]]>