Literature is a powerful factor for ones education and self-growth. It does not matter if it is fiction or non-fiction, literature has the power to bring out all kinds of emotions. It cultivates imagination, helps you form ideas, opinions, and takes you on journeys to worlds far from the physical. It is beneficial for the evolution of the individual and for the society as a whole.
For these reasons, as well as being enjoyable, reading is of a great importance to me. However, it took me some maturing to understand this. I was lucky to grow up with parents who were and continue to be avid readers, specially my mom who always encouraged me to pick up books.
I remember one summer when I was seven years old with my parents by a beautiful Swedish lake. We had our picnic, the sun was shining and all I wanted was to swim in the refreshing water. Instead of having me jumping in the water directly after eating, my mom, who had borrowed some children’s books from the library, wanted me to get in the habit of reading, which was not much of a success that day. I recall looking at the words feeling bored, maybe the lake distracted me, maybe I was too young, but all I felt was anger and as a true child I started to cry. Eventually when I did get to swim I stepped on glass and had to rush to the A&E for stitches. That summer, while waiting for the wound to heal, I ended up mostly sitting down reading the books my mom had borrowed…I guess that was karma.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t until middle school when I fully started to appreciate literature, which I have two reasons to thank for. The first one, as for many kids my generation, was Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling’s series consumed me and it was the first time I would finish a book in a day if not two. I was captivated and taken to another world, it was magical.
The second reason was my mom. Her appreciation and interest for literature became an example for me, and she, much to her happiness, succeeded to pass that on. A lot of who I am is because of her, and there are many things I could thank her for, as for literature, she thought me that reading is fundamental for self-growth. It takes you on a journey of constant learning and discovery. It could be a newly shinny purchased book, or an old borrowed one, there is always a text ready to be read and reread, and every time will be a unique experience. Today I am happy that we have this bond and interest in common.
So to the parents out there trying to make their children into true book fanatics, be an example, put down your phone or tablet, and show your children how important books are. Nowadays it is fascinating to walk into the children’s section of a bookshop as well as libraries. There is an endless amount of different literature for the little ones, all from ancient Greece to books about real life female role models for both girls and boys. I bet my inner child would have loved all these books, or at least eventually warmed up to them.