I’m a firm believer in the power of books.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I lovingly claim the term “book-nerd.” I owe books in many more ways than I can recount.
And because of that, I understand the power in them. And it’s why my home is filled with books. Why I (almost) never turn down my sons when they ask for a new book at the store.
Books have the power to transport us to different worlds, real and imagined. They introduce to people of every type you could possibly imagine. Heroines with hearts of gold. Heroes with ulterior motives. Villains who range from pure evil to merely misunderstood.
Books have the unique ability to help us find commonalities with people from drastically different backgrounds. They help us understand what growing up in a different region, country, or socio-economic background is like.
When you read voraciously, across genres and a diverse group of authors, your brain becomes accustomed to people and situations we could easily label as “other” in our day-to-day life. And there is power in that beyond the words on the page.
We may not be raising our children in diverse neighborhoods or cities. But children, instinctively, care for everyone. And books have the ability to drive that home.
My boys have been introduced to people from all over this world. Who have different struggles and triumphs. Who look and act differently. But my boys don’t care. They co-exist with the characters while we’re reading the books. And that is an opportunity I will continue to provide.
It is important to me to raise readers. So, I buy them books. I read to them. I encourage my oldest to continue learning to read a variety of books. I let them see me reading, regularly. We talk about the books we’re reading.
Because books have the power to open worlds to us.
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