With summer cresting on the horizon, I’m thinking about recreational reading, and I’m making a list of options. The New York Public Library is my favorite resource when choosing a next read. It’s the largest library system in the country with over 92 branch locations. So when a title is honored as a staff pick for adults, you know it’s been well vetted. Of course the library also has recommendations for kids and teens. It’s fun to review these lists, but the essential thing is– just read!
Experts find that when children choose their own books, they read more. Reading is no longer a chore, but an adventure of their design. They’re empowered, and stretch themselves. Giving a child their own bookcase encourages them to treasure past reads and motivates them to explore new ones. Books offer them mirrors on their lives, windows into other’s, and doorways for exploration.
Though the bottom line is just read, there is mounting evidence that reading print has cognitive advantages over digital formats. Like the difference between handwriting and typing, reading from print creates more vivid memories of the material. Digital devices provide convenience, but print offers deeper and more lasting comprehension. Since brain scans reveal greater activation in cortex regions when print is read, scientists recommend a balance between the two options.
So provide and enjoy the freedom of choice and the flexibility of format as you and your family read this summer. The most important thing is just do it!