Earlier this week my daughter shared an article with me called "Why Readers, Scientifically, Are the Best People to Fall In Love With" by Lauren Martin at Elite Daily. I knew it to be true in my heart but now I have some facts to back it up. Here is a summary of the article. (Of course it would be best if you went to the link and read the original.)
"Readers are nicer and smarter than the average person." I am not sure about the nicer part of that statement but I am sure that they are smarter. Think of the smartest people you know and I bet they are all readers. My husband, who usually only finishes three or four fiction books every year reads the newspaper from cover to cover everyday. I'm lucky if I peruse the headlines. He is one of the smartest and well-spoken people I know.
"...those who read fiction are capable of the most empathy and the 'theory of mind' which is the ability to hold opinions, beliefs, and interests apart from their own." I think that this empathy is a critical attribute in today's society. The ability to walk a mile in someone else's shoes is something that readers do all the time through their books. They can view the world through "other frames of reference."
"The more stories that children have read to them, the keener their 'theory of mind.'" What parent wouldn't want their child to be understanding, wise, and adaptable? Reading also "provides a vocabulary lesson that children could never attain by schooling." When my daughter was in elementary school her teacher said she could tell that I read to her because her vocabulary was better than other children her age and she had the ability to imagine worlds beyond her own experience. I have treasured this comment since then and took it as an edict to continue reading to my children long beyond when I could have stopped.
Dating a reader is a way to expand your world.
Finding someone who reads is like dating a thousand souls. It’s gaining the experience they've gained from everything they've ever read and the wisdom that comes with those experiences. It’s like dating a professor, a romantic, and an explorer.In addition this person will have more empathy, will have a better vocabulary in which to express their feelings toward you, and may be more intelligent, but not in a pretentious way. Who wouldn't want to date a guy/gal like that?
And to think it is all because of reading.
Empathy is huge. I teach middle school reading, and I've found that the students who come to me who are already readers tend to imagine their classmates more complexly than those who don't. And the challenge that many of these students face is a lack of vocabulary (in both English and Spanish) to adequately express themselves. Good on you for continuing to read with your kids. As a teacher, I also appreciate it.ReplyDelete
Now that my daughters are grown it is really fun to talk books with them and they make recommendations of books I should read. Books are also a good starting point for relationships. A little more "telling" than talking about the weather but a pretty safe, nonthreatening topic.Delete