Books have always been special to me. I remember going to the library as a middle schooler and beelining to the young adult section in search of my next read. I can still imagine that library so vividly, the arrangement of the books on the shelf, and the excitement of searching through them. I was almost always reading a book, especially during summer break…and I’m not talking about required school reading either. I loved to read.
Then I grew up, and, of course, I stopped reading as much. I surfed the web; I watched videos in my free time. I still loved literature; don’t get me wrong. I would waste hours typing away at my computer, writing short stories and fanfiction throughout those early years of high school. I even went on to pursue a degree in English and writing. Still, I haven’t stepped foot in that library for a long time. I only read a few books each year now, mostly re-reads of my most favorites. That book-loving kid is still within me, but they don’t draw much attention to themselves anymore.
When I found Our Future Reads and realized I could intern writing blog posts about books, it seemed too good to be true. All the internships I had applied for at that point were for companies that were dauntingly large or that needed content written about topics I had no expertise or experience in. I’m grateful that it worked out here because writing for OFR gave a voice to the bookworm kid inside me, awoke my latent love of reading, and taught me so much about why books are important in our lives.
Many of the posts I wrote center around the importance of books and how we can maximize our enjoyment of them. I learned just as much writing these articles as you did reading them. Posts such as The Benefits of Reading and The Importance of Reading For Children emphasize the cognitive, developmental, and health benefits reading has to offer. Reading has substantial positive effect on our brains and bodies, but who tells you that? Teaching people why they should read is an important first step to fostering a lifelong appreciation of reading, and now we know!
Posts such as The Engaged Reader and How to Become One, 10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Read, How to Level Up Your Reading, and How to Integrate Reading into Your Busy Life taught us how we can maximize what we get out of books and integrate them into our schedules (and get our kids to read more). Time is a major reason reading took a backseat in my life, and I know many people struggle to get enough extra time in a day to sit down with a good book. Fortunately, we’ve found ways to integrate reading into our day, as well as get the most out of our reading when we do find time to do it. We now have fully stocked reading toolboxes, full of skills to become thoughtful, engaged, passionate readers and make our reading experiences more meaningful and fun.
Alongside motivating you and helping you find time to read, I compiled reading recommendations from my personal library and around the internet. A Brief Summary of the Books that Touched My Life outlines my all-time favorite books (you know, those few I cannot stop re-reading). 5 Must-Read NaNoWriMo Books, 5 Non-Christmas Winter Books For Your Winter Holiday Reading List, The Books I Got For Christmas, and Top 5 Books For People Who Don’t Read provide you (and me!) with all the books you could ever want…for a little while at least. Sometimes finding the right book is the hardest part of getting started. I tried hard to procure a selection over the months to inspire us to explore books again and find some we truly love.
So now there’s no excuse not to read. We know why we should read, we know how we can find the time to read, and we have plenty of books to read. I’m sure many of us have a bookworm kid inside us, desperate for more content but too meek to reach their arms towards the library shelf. We owe it to them to cherish all we’ve learned, to stay hungry for more knowledge, and to keep reading. Even as time goes by and life starts changing, please, never stop reading.