Often, parents and teachers complain that children do not read any more, and invariably the TV is made the most convenient scapegoat. The problem, however, lies in the classroom where reading is rarely taught, or it is simply done with the view to only getting good grades in the examination. At best, the interest in and love for reading are expected to develop on their own.
It is not enough to offer children what is considered a good selection of reading texts. For, this alone does not guarantee that the child will ‘engage’ with a reading passage and become a good reader. A conscious attempt must be made to help children to ‘connect’ to the text in a meaningful way.
To bring children and books together successfully, children have to experience the pleasure of reading. They have to hear stories, make predictions, visualize characters, talk about plot twists, imagine story settings, emotionally respond to characters, and think with new information, ideas and view points.
Healthy reading habits arouse your curiosity, ignite your thought, give wings to your imagination and inspire you to expand your horizon. Books are like friends who are always with you to excite you to ‘imagine a brave new world’, guide you during rough times and comfort you when in pain. And to summarize I quote from Andrew Lang’s poem “Old Friends” –
‘When others fail him, the wise man looks
To the sure companionship of books.’