The Importance of Reading Good Books in Healthy Childhood Development
Books are like food: what you digest affects your development! Many concerned parents are on a continual search for good books for the whole family: good good books to read books for their preschoolers, good books for teens, youth, not to mention good literature for themselves; good books that do not compromise good moral values and are interesting and promote further reading. I remember as boy whiling away an entire lazy winter afternoon going through “Hans Brinker” (Mary Mapes Dodge), “Star of Light” (Patricia St. John) and other classic good books, being transported to another time and place! Thinking back, I notice that some of the emotions, feelings, and other impressions experienced while reading these books in my childhood come floating back; the joy when Hans’ father “wakes up” from his long illness, the suspense of Hamid’s rescue of his sister and escape through the mountains. This very “digestive” effect of reading a book is why good, wholesome books are important: what a child reads (or what any of us reads for that matter) will leave an impression.
When your child is reading a book, to a certain extent he or she is at the mercy of whatever message the author wishes to convey. Many books today would like to tell us that “Lying or dishonesty, bad language, disrespect, immoral behavior etc. is ok. Everyone is doing it. It’s normal.” Through the printed word or other media this is having a negative effect on society, and will also negatively affect us and our children if we are not careful.
There is a certain quality in good books we remember from our childhood that is hard to find in many books today… it’s not that good books are not available, but you need to search for them! For many people, it’s like finding a long-lost friend when you find a good old favorite classic which you thought was out of print, or discover a new book with all the good points of those old classics: with “can’t put it down” engrossing reading and a wholesome, realistic storyline, without the harmful and totally unnecessary addition of offensive language or morally objectionable behavior.