My family has always had an assortment of books around the house for our children, and now for our grandchildren as well. Fond memories recur when I hear the grandchildren squeal with delight, as they explore the vast new worlds opening before them.
Inspired by his fourth-grade cousin, the rising first-grader reads anything within reach, especially “chapter books” and stories of saints. His parents patiently clarify the words that are not yet within his vocabulary.
His younger sister is exuberant when she realizes she can form letters into words, and words into sentences. Curious George is one of her bedtime favorites.
The vast new world, contained between the covers of a book, stimulates the imagination of these young readers as they are drawn more deeply to seek the truth, beauty, and goodness of the world in which they live.
Unfortunately, this joy of reading is absent from many homes today. Jean Twenge, an academic psychologist who studies the iPhone generation (iGens), recently told the Wall Street Journal that, “The percentage of high-school students who read books or other long-form content every day has dropped from 60 percent to 15 percent since the 1980s.” This is attributed to “short attention spans,” given today’s emphasis on social media and general internet surfing.