Books Open Up Worlds

What is the first book you remember reading?

Johnny’s Cookies is the first I remember actively seeking to “read,” the first book I memorized. I continually took it out of our church library. A counting book in which Johnny gives his cookies to various people, it wasn’t profound kids’ lit; but I loved it.

At home my parents read to us from a book called Little Visits with God, which I still own. Its stories helped me understand what it looked like to live for God.

And when I could handle chapter books, I devoured all the Jungle Doctor missionary books in my church library. They inspired me to become a missionary nurse (women just weren’t doctors then, at least in my mind), a desire that died a swift death in jr. high when a visit to the tech school nursing program opened my eyes to the body fluids nurse dealt with (I don’t do body fluids).

Books change lives by opening up new worlds—and futures. 

The reason Les and I volunteer in a fourth-grade classroom is because we learned that the best predictor of if a student will graduate from high school is if they are reading on grade level by grade four. Books matter if you’re going to develop into a strong reader.

How can you encourage a love of reading in a child?

  • Read regularly with your own child or grandchild.
  • Take the time to shop around for a genre that will engage your disinterested reader and entice them to read.
  • Volunteer at a school or daycare center to read with children or tutor struggling readers.
  • Donate books to libraries, homeless shelters, doctors’ offices, and Head Start programs.
  • Organize a virtual book drive for Reach Out and Read or another literacy organization in your community.

Reading matters. Books ignite the spark of the imagination. Children virtually discover new worlds, explore careers, and meet people who are like and unlike them. And according to research studies, reading increases empathy—in children and adults. And the world can certainly use more empathy.

Share with me your earliest book memory—
and how you’re encouraging young readers.


2 thoughts on “Books Open Up Worlds”

  1. Dear Carol, I loved your blog about reading. I’ve been encouraged to make a special library corner for my grandchildren. Cindy M.

    • Cindy, a library corner is a wonderful idea! I’m sure your grandchildren will love it! Thanks for sharing the idea with us; hopefully others will be inspired by your idea.



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