“Once upon a time…”
Those four magic words begin some of my favorite stories of all time. When I was young, I had a huge book of fairy tales. It had every fairy tale, tall tale, legend you could think of. I still have that book, even though it’s beat up and worn beyond recognition. But the fact that I still have it proves that I’ve loved to read since I was old enough to comprehend those four magic words.
Because of this upbringing, I believe that reading all kinds of literature can help children in school and in their future.
Just by starting with simple books, I have grown and discovered so many different and fascinating things to read. My reading has evolved into so many facets and it has become one of the greatest and most rewarding things in my life. I have become a lover of the classic novels by Austen, Brontë, and Dickens; and I even gather up the new “classics” by Brown, Maguire, or Rowling. By reading, along with the help of English teachers, I have learned the merit of reading wide spectrums of books. It has broadened my intellect and understanding of complex books, but it has also widened my vocabulary and insight into literature.
Friends of mine who don’t do as well in school tend to read less than I do outside the class. During elementary school, while kids struggled to just get through twenty pages a night, I struggled to stay awake, just to get through a few more chapters.
People today, mostly the kind who tell kids that by studying they can get into college, may not believe that reading for fun is the best way to secure a future. By only studying, you are put in an isolated area of learning. I get so bored just by sitting in one area and studying everyday that I have to do something fun or interesting just to keep myself from going insane. Sometimes, I have to pick up a book and escape into a world that I know I’ll never be able to go to otherwise. The way I see it, you can learn just as much outside of that study area. You can learn about things you never knew existed.
I have learned countless lessons over the years, and most are not from teachers. Jane Austen taught me that you can find happiness in the most unexpected places; Dan Brown showed me that there is always a story behind the story; Shakespeare helped me realize that no one is perfect, and Shel Silverstein made me believe that the simplest stories carry messages for your whole life long. These lessons, among many others, have broadened my outlook on many things; my life and my future being the most prominent.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.