Posted by: Trudie Trewin | February 16, 2012

National Year of Reading

Of all the ‘Year Of’s that we’ve had, this one rates right up there as one of the best ever!

This week I went along to the launch of National Year of Reading at the Cairns Library,  in my capacity as one of their local ‘Reading Champions’. Now, I am rather chuffed to be one of their local champions, not just because it was an honour to be asked, and not just because I love reading, but also because I have never been a champion anything before! (Although I admit to being a teensy bit disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be any hint of a trophy. Or a podium to stand on, or the National Anthem being played while I clutch a stuffed koala and sniff back tears of pride!)

But, a champion none the less. And my job is to talk about reading whenever I get the opportunity. Not really hard when you’re an author!

I can’t remember exactly when I caught the reading bug, but my guess is that it was waaay back when I realised that Mum and Dad didn’t really enforce the ‘lights out’ rule if I was reading a book, what kid doesn’t want an excuse to avoid going to sleep!  I remember some of the books I loved in those early years – The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie. But I think my love of reading was cemented when I read Colin Theile’s February Dragon. It was the first book that made me cry. One minute I was reading along with my heart pounding, as the fire roared towards the stables, and the next I was bawling like, well, like a 10 year old girl who loved horses. (Oh those poor, terrified, burnt horses)  That’s when I discovered the power of the written word – and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Reading opens the mind. It develops empathy, creativity, problem solving, interpretive skills, logical thinking and inquisitivity. (Not sure that last one is a word, but I quite like the way it sounds!)

Reading entertains, informs and inspires. It gives insight into unfamiliar experiences.

I firmly believe that people who read a lot a better equipped to deal with life’s challenges.

But I don’t want it to sound like a ‘good for you’ list, like eating vegetables and flossing your teeth! All those things are just the happy side effects of reading – the best reason to read isn’t because it’s good for you….. it’s because it’s fun! It’s anywhere, anytime entertainment. Love it!

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