We spoke to Newcastillians about the importance of reading.

George R.R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones, once said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads, lives but only one.”

These words resonate an undeniable truth. A reader is exposed to a thousand different worlds, exposing adults and children to a vast amount of knowledge and information.

February 1, was World Read Aloud Day. A day where parents and caregivers are reminded of the importance of reading to the children in their lives.

But why should parents and caregivers read out loud to their children?

Reading helps build a strong language foundation, while introducing children to a large vocabulary. A decent vocabulary allows a child to express themselves better and in turn can help them with their academics.

Furthermore, reading helps children develop empathy, curiosity and critical thinking.

The Newcastillian asked residents why they think it is important for children to read. This is what they had to say:

Benjamin Scholtz:

“Reading is important because it strengthens one’s mind, exposing children to knowledge. Books and reading also helps children find information.”

Marlize Pretorius:

“Reading helps with a child’s education and development. It also makes them more aware of what is happening in the world.”

Suzaan Koekemoer:

“My daughter loves reading. It has helped with her spelling and school work. So, I feel reading is definitely good for children.”

Mpume Zwane:

“Reading helps children grow their vocabulary. Also, it helps them keep busy and away from silly things.”

Here are some fun facts about the literature world that you might not know:
  • The most expensive book was sold for $30.5 million. What?! That’s right, according to the Business Insider, Bill Gates bought the Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci for that rather shocking price.
  • The three most read books in the world are the Holy Bible, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and the Harry Potter series.
  • The term bookworm derives from insects who live in books and feed of the binding.
  • Dr Seuss coined the word ‘nerd’ in his book If I ran a zoo.
  • When one hears the word action-figure, one tends to think of fictional characters such as Superman, Iron-Man and Batman. But did you know there is an action-figure of a librarian? Executive Director of the Washington Center at the Seattle Public Library, Nancy Pearl is the only librarian to have an action-figure made in her likeness.

Be sure to introduce your child to the literature world, allowing them to escape into a world of knowledge, information and where magic exists.

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