Food for Thought
Reading is a window that opens the world to us and opens us to the world. Our capacity for abstract thought, reasoning, and language are a large part of what defines us as human. Listening and speaking are the fundamental ways we relate to one another through language. Reading greatly expands the reach of language and our ability to understand others’ lives and experiences. Even the act of learning to read challenges our brains in multiple ways. As we grasp the meaning of the words we read, we also learn words that describe our experiences. What does the word “comprehension” mean? What does the word “injustice” mean? Reading gives us linguistic handles that enable us to respond to our experiences.
Through reading, we learn about the world, the lives of others, and about ourselves. It is also a wonderful way to escape the world, enter others’ lives for a time, and forget about our own problems. Most of us grew up reading to learn as well as reading for pleasure. Reading was valued highly as we grew up. For some of us, reading has become a lifelong passion. Books play a special role in influencing how we think about the world and how we understand ourselves.
No doubt, each of us has read books that have shaped us. Parts of who we become develop in response to what we read and over time each of us are drawn to read different things. Some of us are attracted to a few specific genres or authors; others are attracted to a wide variety of subjects and relish reading about things they know nothing about. Reading allows us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in worlds both real and imagined. Let us talk about reading and the books and authors that hold a special place in our hearts.
Questions to Consider:
- Tell us about what kinds of books or authors you have loved over the years and what they have given you.
- Are there particular genres that you are especially drawn toward and how have your reading interests changed over time?
- Do you read to learn, for pleasure, or perhaps for another kind of stimulation?
- What is important to you about reading and how do you feel about reading and the next generation?
All rights reserved © 2020 Beth Firestein, Ph.D. Wise Women Group