24-R by B e v e r l y

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This week at ABC Wednesday R gets centre stage.

R is for READ and READING and being a READER

Reading has always been a part of my life. I cannot imagine a world without books and being able to read what or when I want.

As a child, I loved going to the library and working my way through the children’s books. My Dad was a big reader, my mother not as much. He encouraged me to read widely and often. In fact, when my mother tried to stop me from reading a rather risqué book when I was 12 or 13, my father said the only way I could discern a good book from a poor one was to read widely. I got to read it!

I especially loved as a parent the time I snuggled with my children and read them book after book. Favourites like, “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch were read over and over again.

As a teacher, I read several books every day – some as mentor texts to encourage writing, some just for the sheer joy of listening to a superb book. I can still remember reading “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo and nearing the end of the book, when one of my Gr. 3 students cried out “She can’t die!”. This was a girl who was developmentally challenged, did not have a good memory but she always could summarize where we were in each chapter book which we read at the end of the day.

Reading has so many benefits -especially for children. (Check here and here for a detailed look at the many benefits)

Studies have been done to show just how many words children learn when they are read to from an early age. Even just 20 minutes a day will have then learning almost two million words by 6th Grade.

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Now that I am retired I can indulge my love of reading. I read every day and for the past 3 years I have read over 400 books a year (this does include over a hundred children’s books I read as mentor books for my own writing). I take part in several challenges, including the Popsugar Challenge through Goodreads. I love the challenge of finding books to meet the criteria for each.

Here are a few quotes that attest to the importance of reading:

Some books leave us free and some books make us free. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. – Frederick Douglas

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.– George R.R. Martin

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss