In defense of reading

The best present my parents gave me, was love of reading. While I don’t remember my first book, I’ll never forget the feeling of dipping my mind into a story. The first ones I’d pick from my Mum’s shelf collection. Once I got through those, Mum sent me to our local library. Every week, I’d come home with a new bunch. The more I read, the more I wanted to read.

Books opened doors to other worlds: sometimes funny ones, sometimes scary ones, but always, always intriguing. In the evenings, Mum would check that I’d stopped reading and gone to sleep. I got better at pretending that I had.

It breaks my heart to hear that people no longer read, that books aren’t considered ‘a thing’, that the biggest book shop in Latin America sells fewer books than other products.

How come reading became unfashionable?

Our brains are wired for stories. Books make us feel good, they help access and explore different worlds and minds. Reading them releases ‘feel good’ chemicals, the same ones that we experience when we’re trusted or when someone is kind to us. Who wouldn’t want this for themselves or their kids?

While not everyone enjoys the same kind of books, there is definitely a book out there for everyone. Books make great presents for all genders. They are a key to a richer life, not to mention vocabulary.  They enable travelling without moving. Just give them a chance.

My self-appointed book guardian