Don’t stop reading

BY: Nii Addokwei Moffatt
Reading enhances your analytical thinking and reading textbooks makes learning easier
Reading enhances your analytical thinking and reading textbooks makes learning easier

Don’t stop reading

It’s food for the brain

Don’t stop reading

Your mind it’ll train

Don’t stop reading

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It’ll help you learn

Don’t stop reading

Knowledge you’ll earn

“Stop reading Nii.

Pay attention.

I am talking to you”, a colleague recently complained when he realised I was reading while he was talking to me as we munched on some snacks.

I admit it was rude but I just couldn’t put the book away because it was such an engaging story, the type that prevents you from doing anything else.

I smiled and apologised as it reminded me of the number of novels that my teachers seized from me as I read them while they were teaching.

I won’t stop reading and would rather encourage people to read.

When I was a boy, one of the things I did every morning was to read to my father.

Then it was a chore and I did not enjoy it because I did not understand why my father would not simply read his newspaper but make me read it for him before going to school.

If only I had known that he was only inculcating in me the habit of reading because he knew how beneficial it would be for me in the future, I would have undertaken that “chore” more willingly.

But who am I at 13 to refuse to do what my elder brothers and uncles before me had done faithfully.

I just hated this domestic chore. Until my father travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) and on his return, brought me three books, a pair of shoes and socks. I was furious. Books?

I am sure you would want to know the titles.

They were; Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson 39 Steps, by John Buchan and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

Reluctantly, I began to read them and was surprised I enjoyed them so much.

Mr Ocloo our teacher (God bless him) at Korle Gonno Roman Catholic Boys School started reading Kidnapped to us during our English periods and I proudly told my classmates the title of the book because he had kept it a secret from us.

He read it in bits such that the suspense heightened. Before he finished reading the story, many of my friends had also read it.

Can you imagine how proud I was? Those three books and others I had from my elder brother Addotei circulated among classmates.

We began exchanging books among ourselves and till date , I still do so with some of my friends.

How many of us buy books for our children instead of expensive toys when they celebrate their birthdays or have excelled in an endeavour such as a class test or run an errand and we want to show our appreciation?

I have lots of books on my shelves and share them with one of my daughters, Adukwei, who took after me in that area.

Advantages of reading

The benefits of reading are enormous.

They include mental stimulation, stress reduction, knowledge, vocabulary expansion, memory improvement, stronger analytical thinking, improved focus and better writing skills.

There are times when reading gives you the relaxation you need to glide gently into sleep.

You will suddenly discover that when a word pops up as you write a proposal, an article or a business paper etc. and you crosscheck from the dictionary you will not be surprised it aptly fits in.

As you read continuously, your brain stores the words and their meanings and even their construction, expanding your vocabulary and since it is not being read as a textbook, it effortlessly stays in your brain for future use.

Don’t stop reading! Reading enhances your analytical thinking and reading textbooks makes your learning become easy.

As an actor, reading has helped me on numerous occasions, first in making it easy as it were, to “chew” your lines and when you forget your lines to put in an appropriate sentence to save the situation.

Majority of our youth are not reading these days so newspapers which contain loads of information are not read by them. It is time for parents to lead the way in getting children to begin reading early.

Book fairs are great opportunities for parents to encourage their children to pick up books of their choice and join their children in beginning to appreciate books while having fun.

Apart from getting the books at discounted prizes, other teaching and learning materials are available at the book fairs for parents, teachers and educational institutions to buy to encourage, especially our children, to begin reading and for those of us who read to continue reading.

Government through the Education Ministry should also begin to buy selected books from Ghanaian writers to stock libraries across the country and for school libraries so that from an early age, our children will begin to read.

The school curriculum should include reading periods so that from the basic schools, children will begin to read to derive early, the full benefits of reading.