Dr. John on Reading

When I was a child, there were no computers, no video games, no smart phones, no robotics.  We played outside, we played board games, and our toys did not move on their own or talk.  We had baseballs, basketballs, roller skates and bikes. We had toy soldiers and cars and tanks.  There were dolls and sleds and jump ropes and jacks.  We played outdoor games like stoop ball and kick the can, staying outside until called in for dinner. We had no shortage of toys. But those toys required either physical activity or our imaginations to use.

And we had books.

From The Hardy Boys to Nancy Drew, from Tom Sawyer to Little Women, from the classics to new and upcoming authors, from novels to comic books to magazines, we read. And while reading, our imaginations soared. After all, reading turned us into amature detectives, it introduced us to superheroes fighting villains, and it educated us about everything from science to mechanics, from how people lived in other parts of the world to how they lived in other areas of our country, from how to fish to how to cook, and so much more.

These days instead of tiny black and white TVs, most homes have huge, high definition flat screens.  Instead of three channels, there are hundreds from which to choose. Instead of board games, you have unlimited video games.  But the one thing that has remained constant is the power of reading to take us places and teach us things, to introduce us to new characters and new worlds, to fire up our imaginations as we partner with the author in creating an experience unique to each book.

So the next time you think of powering up your computer or getting involved in a video game, think about opening a book. Every book offers a new adventure and you never know where it will take you or who you will meet or what you will learn along the way.

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