Why Reading is Important!

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International Literacy Day is on the 8th September 2015, and in light of this I want to share with you ten reasons why reading is important. I had the pleasure last year of sharing this message with 300 special needs children at the LSEN Ithembelihle School in Primrose in Johannesburg, and I hope that this message continues to be passed on, as there is nothing more wonderful than the gift of reading.

It is a gift we can all pass on freely.

International Literacy day has been celebrated by UNESCO for  the last 40 years and its aim is to remind the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning.

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics literacy rates for adults and youth continue to rise, however there are still 774 million adults ( 15yrs +) that still cannot read or write.

10 reasons why reading is important to impart to children and adults!

The more you read and the more often you read the better at it you become – you may have heard people say ‘practice makes perfect’ and reading is no different.

Reading exercises our brains, just as it is good to exercise our bodies it is important for us to exercise our brains. Reading strengthens the connections in our brains and actually builds new connections.

Reading improves concentration – the more you read, ultimately the longer you will be able to concentrate.

Reading teaches you about the world – you learn about people, places, events, and you can learn about the different ways of life of other people and their ideas and beliefs.

Reading improves your vocabulary – improves your language skills and improves your ability to write well. Did you know that when you read, you absorb information about things – like how to structure a sentence and how to use words.

Reading develops your imagination – when we are enjoying a story – we are also imagining the characters and imagining how we would feel in the same situation.

Reading helps to give you empathy for others, because you learn to identify with characters and how they feel in certain situations.

Reading helps you do better at school.

Reading is FUN – you can read anywhere, anytime.

Reading is calming and relaxing.


What is a book?

by Lora Dureta

A book is pages, pictures and words.

A book is animals, people and birds

A book is stories of queens and kings

Poems and songs – so many things.


Curled up in a corner, where I can hide

With a book, I can journey far and wide.

Though it’s only paper from end to end.

A book is a very special friend.


Please  also Follow & Support  

PRAESA “Children’s Literacy Charter




  • My greatest fear for this generation of youngsters with their “everything technology” is its immediate effect of a great loss basic literacy, one only has to see the hoardes of youngsters, eyes, mind and communications through social media, where horrific abbreviations rule, l call it the “bastardisation” of language. I shudder to think of the long term physical effects it will have neurologically, disorders like early onset dementia due to the fact they depend so little on parts of the brain that needs constant stimulation to lessen the inevitable death of brain cells as we age. Reading and writing is an integral part in this stimulation.

  • Hi Dee, thanks for the comment!

    You are right, all children, of all ages, need to be encouraged to read more…and not just online. Nothing compares to a good ‘old fashioned’ book.

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