“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope."

-Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Five Reasons to Read Children's Books

Five Reasons to Read Children's Books

I was exhausted after spending time in Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. After all, reading can be hard work. I was ready to give my brain a break. While perusing the old wooden bookshelf, I noticed The Magician's Nephew, by C.S. Lewis. This is the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia series. The most popular book in the series is The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Despite being written for children, the serious adult reader can reap benefits from reading them as well. Here are five reasons to add a few children's books to your reading list:

1. Building Reading Momentum (small wins)

If you do not consider yourself a reader, or have fallen out of the habit of regular reading, then a children's book could be a great way to jump start your reading routine. They are often easy to read, enjoyable, and short (which means low commitment). I finished The Magician's Nephew in about six hours of reading over the course of two days, and I am a slow reader. Finishing a book gives me a sense of accomplishment, and the small wins of finishing short and easy books can add up over time.

2. Rest from More Difficult Work

Children's books can be a great alternative to other kinds of entertainment. If you only read challenging books, you will quickly associate all reading with hard work and it will feel like drudgery. Mix up your reading with something fun and easy. Soon, reading will be something you look forward to, rather than something you dread. Which leads to the next point.

3. Children's Books are Relaxing and Entertaining

The Magician's Nephew is written from a child's perspective, so everything is simple. There are no surprise plot twists like "there is no spoon", or it's "a dream within a dream", just good old fashioned good guys, bad guys, and "magic". That's not to say that it's boring. C.S. Lewis has the talent of transporting his readers to another world. Which brings up another thing about Children's books.

4. Stimulate the Imagination

Children's books can reawaken and stimulate our imagination. The adult world is full of complex information and decisions. Boring repetitive decisions seem to steal away our imagination and sense of wonder. I found myself daydreaming after reading The Magician's Nephew. I used to daydream all the time when I was a kid. Not so much as an adult.

5. Children's Books Can Make You Happier

Happiness is often based on our perspective, and we can affect our perspective by what we put in our lives. If you spend an hour on Facebook, you will probably be less happy. If you spend an hour reading a children's novel, you will probably be happier. Real life is full of disappointments. Children's books are one of the only places you're guaranteed a happy ending. I recommend taking advantage of it.

Children's books and other short fun books are an invaluable part of my reading regimen. They are positive reinforcement for a regular reading habit, a place to rest my mind, and something to cheer me up. If you want to read a children's book and are looking for a recommendation, then take a look at The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis.

Cookies and Radishes

Cookies and Radishes

America Through the Eyes of the Past

America Through the Eyes of the Past