Imagine yourself knowing a lot more just because you read a book about the geography of our planet or a book that tells you about different types of plants and animals. This is what sitting down and reading a good book can do. I believe that reading fuels the mind no matter what you read. As Baron Charles De Secondat once said, “I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.” He was basically saying that reading calms you down when you are in a bad mood or not very happy. It cheers you up on your gloomy days.
I remember when I hit the stage of changing from short picture books to longer chapter books. Even though the chapter books still had some pictures, I felt that I was improving on my reading skills. I know that everybody loves to look at the pictures as they’re reading and I did too but I got use to the change. I started to realize that you don’t need to see the pictures to show you what’s going on in the book. As you read, your brain takes it all in and it makes a mental picture in your mind. You just have to look deeper into the story. After I finished my first chapter book I was amazed. I had read it in two weeks. Yet I was still confused because I was young. I didn’t know the meaning of every word. Slowly, yet confidently, I began to progress to higher level books. I believe that when you’re reading you’re feeding your brain.
Now I’m 12, and I read books with 500 or more pages and very fine print. A man named Sir Richard Steele once said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” What he was saying was that reading is like exercise except it makes your brain stronger. I like to keep all of the books I’ve ever read on a little shelf in my room. People shouldn’t just throw away books you’ve already read. You’re just throwing away important knowledge that can help your brain grow. I know many of you can agree with me.
Every night I read a book for an hour or so. I think it lets my mind wander so I can have a peaceful, good night’s sleep. Then when I read during the next day, I go back a few pages so I can remember everything that happened the night before. This helps me a lot. Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy once said, “There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of reading is the best of all.” I am constantly pushing myself to read books that go beyond my reading level. For example, I am currently reading Seabiscuit which is a very hard and challenging book. Even though the books are challenging, I still believe I’m getting some bits of knowledge. This is why I believe that you’re fueling your mind with knowledge when you read a book.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.