News flash: kids still read!

Lara Pavlick

Contrary to popular belief and despite changing technology, children still enjoy reading old-fashioned books.
As strange as it seems, books are actually still alive and well. Their pages are being turned, spines becoming cracked and binding coming undone. While the world around libraries is changing, adding computers, 3D printers and other forms of technology, somehow books are still the most advanced form of entertainment, especially for kids.
In the library, children eagerly drag their parents through the aisles looking for the best books to pick, asking how many books they can take and flipping through pages to examine them. Some are searching for their favorite series, favorite author, or even their favorite type of book. Some of the most popular, as one might guess, seem to be Disney-related.
According to the National Education Association, 26 percent of children who were read to three to four times in a week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet, compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.
When visiting the library on any given day, teenagers as old as 16 read to their younger siblings, thereby improving their overall reading skills. Utilizing their acting abilities, sometimes they use different character voices, which tend to absolutely delight children.
Another frequent happening is the appearance of kids that are fluent in two languages. They pass through the aisles speaking Spanish to their parents, while picking out books written in English. Reading allows them to simultaneously learn both at a young age.
Not only is the ancient art of reading words on real paper still around, it is thriving, with kids not only reading fiction, but checking out non-fiction books as well. How to Draw Cartoons, Animals, Vehicles, Science and many other topics are popular choices. Some are even so brave as to venture into the Juvenile Section, selecting a few upper-level books along with their picture books. While some select two books about Curious George and a novel, some may only want to look for the everlastingly popular Harry Potter Series.
These stories cannot be seen on a television, no matter what adaptation a film or TV show could create. A book can never be a detailed movie, as the movie would be too long. This is what brings magic to books, to imagining it in your own way. With popular books, kids discuss what kind of eyes the main character might have, or what their true personality might be. Sometimes it even comes down to the mispronunciation of a name. No matter what, they are learning, taking in information and applying it to their own lives. Books seem to be the last bit of remaining life lessons, in a world where all knowledge is simply at our fingertips. It inspires to work for the solution, with gratification that lasts more than a few seconds, and emotions that can stay with a person for life.
Kids still read and, hopefully, they will continue to read as long as the stories they find are engaging enough to be just like the small screen they always watch in front of them, only this time they watch it with their imagination. As the old saying goes, maybe for some kids, “the book was better than the movie!”