The Value of Reading

I posted the following on the AJC blog “Get Schooled” on November 30, 2016:

“If we desire to turn students onto the value and pleasure of reading, we must as both parents and teachers start talking more about ideas, in a collaborative and not in a competitive way. Ideas stimulate the intellect in ways that technical gadgets can never fulfill. If you want to read more of my thoughts on this, please go here:”


“Example of ideas, justaposed, that families and appropriate classrooms could discuss, which might stimulate the intellectual curiosity of some students:

— America is going to be, again, an imperialistic, hierarchical empire, or we are going to become the America of our Founding Fathers’ dreams – an America of enlightenment, education, egalitarianism, and a model for the world of that enlightenment. Harshness and cruelty vs. humanity and eternal truths pursued. —

What factors do you, as a student, think will contribute toward America’s moving in either direction? Which direction do you, as a student, wish America to pursue? Why?”

From the author of the link given here:

“I do not recall ever hearing the word ‘love’ in policy discussions surrounding literacy, which tends to be treated as a set of technical skills.”


My response: The love of learning lasts a lifetime and begins with reading. That love spills over into all of the arts, i.e. visual arts, film, stage, music, and the cultivation of that learning informs how we relate to others in the world. Through reading we not only are aware of the present but also of the past and we can, therefore, project with some degree of accuracy into the future.

Discernment also comes with reading. Most of the readers of this blog know that I have become a student of Thomas Jefferson in my retirement years. This past week, in the library, I checked out a book by an author named O’Connor which was his fictional impression of the relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings. I only had to read a few pages to become figuratively nauseous in reading that book. I turned it back into the library the next day. The literary standards were poor, imo, and I simply could not read what so offended my learned sensibilities. The same sensibilities now apply to film and all of the arts, as well as to relationships. Reading is the foundation upon which higher consciousness depends. Our world’s survival will depend upon it, in my opinion.

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