Tuesday, April 26, 2022

You Can't Write Well if You Don't Read

 "If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."

--Stephen King

I wish there were a way to place that thought in the mind of every three-year-old. It's a time before the instant gratification of online and other digital games replace the love of stories to be savored. 

When adults or older siblings read to them, younger kids learn words -- stories -- go beyond the confines of their home and can be shared. I've never met a young child who didn't enjoy being read to. 

All of this leads to the ability to think about the world around them and someday helps foment critical thinking. It can start early -- watch a child's face as they try to figure out how to unlock a door or place blocks on top of each other. Eventually they find out that if they put the big blocks on the bottom, blocks can be stacked.

We don't all have to write fiction, but we have to convey our ideas whether we paint houses, build medical devices, or play the guitar. The key to doing any of this well is reading.

I have little time for pleasure reading now, so I play audiobooks in the car. I'm just getting into using earbuds to listen to books via apps on my phone.  

I feel sorry for people who don't care whether they find ways to discover new books. They won't learn to write well. And if they can't do that, it will be hard to succeed (defined in whatever way feels right) in any endeavor.

Every time you hear a child dismiss the idea of reading, ask them what they'll do if the power is out for a few days. If they have books, they'll never be bored.

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