Portable Magic: The Joy of Reading

By Catherine Hume

At the moment, the winter weather may make it difficult to go outside, and so it is necessary to find activities that can take place indoors. Reading is something that can be done at any time in almost any place.

We are lucky today that books can be bought cheaply from internet sources. We also have access to public libraries but also book exchanges in railway stations, cafes, shops and in slightly more exotic places out in the wild. We have never had such easy access to so many books.

If we make reading a chore, children grow up thinking that reading is a chore. They become disinterested in reading for pleasure and this misperception will close off a world of adventure as well as knowledge.

Reading is great for children. Not only does it help children understand grammar and new vocabulary as well as increasing memory skills and boosting the growth of brain cells, but reading also unlocks children’s imaginations, helping your child become a creative person.

Instead of watching a film or TV drama – which is a passive activity – we can give books to children so that they actively using their own minds and create adventures for themselves. In one book, your child travels through the sky on an enormous peach, and in another book they delve into a fantastical world with Harry, Hermione and Ron, using their wits and their daring to overcome evil.

Stephen King once said, “Books are uniquely portable magic.” Reading with your child is a chance to unplug and to take life slower. Reading together with your child is an experience on another level. It can cement a firm bond between parent and child, building up more trust. Reading with your child builds good memories for both yourself and your child.

Dr Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more things that you learn, the more places you will go.”

Dr Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more things that you learn, the more places you will go.” When you read with your child, you are entering that magical world with your child and you go on the adventures together, and that is invaluable. Enjoy it!


Catherine Hume is a social care worker specialising in mental health who also writes in her spare time. Some of her fiction can be found at http://catherinehume.wordpress.com.

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