Opinion – Why Reading for Leisure is so Important

By Fatuma Abdullah – Author of Akiki’s Stories

Reading for leisure has been defined as ‘reading done of our own free will outside the routine of school and or work’. The idea of leisure reading is that you read at your own time, at your own pace, reading whatever you want to read. This type of reading is more relaxed and one is able to enjoy it a lot more than forced reading.

Research has shown that leisure reading can help increase empathy and improve relationships with others. It has also helped improve mental health and well being. Some thoughts on why reading for leisure is critical for children.

There is strong evidence linking reading for pleasure and educational outcomes. Reading for leisure makes a big difference in school children’s education performance by developing their vocabulary, increasing their general knowledge and their analytic skills.

Children who read for leisure because of the skills involved in reading such as concentration, understanding and unpacking the stories, written language. These experiences help the development of empathy, contemplation and imagination.  Reading different books, exposes them to different cultures and seeing the way the world operates.  These skills are not taught in the classroom.

Reading for leisure is a good habit to carry into adulthood. Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face. (Life Hacks) PS. Wealthy people are readers.

Schools and parents should try different ways of getting children interested in reading, like inviting local authors to meet and inspire the learners. They should also invest in a variety of books to increase the children’s chance of finding the right book. Simultaneously, parents at home should lead by example by reading at home and setting time apart to simply read or visit a local library.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss

Opinion – Why Reading for Leisure is so Important

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