Reading for Wellbeing

By Alana Marshall, The Library Within 22 Apr 2020

World Book Week

In honour of World Book Day, this Thursday 23rd April, let’s explore the beauty of reading for the wellbeing of the little ones we love. As we all face upheaval and challenges in our daily lives at this time, books emerge as more beneficial than ever. As our physical worlds get smaller, our emotional ones are open to growth through the stories we enjoy and share. Reading can allow us to learn, grow, travel, empathise, adventure, escape, relax and relate across space and time.

We all know books are good for us and our kids but what are some of the true rewards? As I put this together for sharing, I realised that these benefits are more vital than ever as we stay in and stay close. You can of course add to these (relevant to your family) — my ideas include:

  • Development of language and concentration skills;
  • A way to encourage knowledge thirst;
  • Exposure to a range of different topics, eras, locations, etc.;
  • A guide for imagination and creativity;
  • Fosters empathy and problem-solving;- Provides entertainment;
  • Creation of family bonds.

This last point touches on my passion for advocating on behalf of shared reading or reading aloud. I’ve often felt it sad that we tend to stop reading to our kids once they are old enough to read themselves. We could instead see reading aloud as a gift, passed between loved ones. Words shared that weave connections and foster family discussion and insights.

How else can we use our reading to connect and engage at this time? Your kids might like to write to their favourite author, chat about the books they are reading at the dinner table, take their books out into nature to enjoy, explore some poetry, write their own stories or comics, or create and share book reviews.

Oh – and one of the best ways to encourage your kids’ love of reading, let them catch you curled up in a cosy nook, nose in book!

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