Reading Outside of the Box

When I was younger, there were many programs at school that encouraged kids to start reading more. There were a few different types of these programs over the years that I experienced. There were ones that listed specific books that everyone was required to read, and there were ones that allowed you to pick from a list of books. I always preferred the ones that let you pick the novel you read as a part of the program. Looking back however, especially after experiencing both High School and College, I realize that most of the time you don’t get to choose what you read.

I wish there had been more programs that required me to read a specific title at a young age, so that I could have been better prepared for the times when you are required to read something that doesn’t fall into your normally preferred genre. Some of the best life lessons I have learned from novels were ones that I not only didn’t expect to take anything from, but that I did not expect to enjoy.

When I was in the eighth grade I was required to read Victor Hugo’s novel, “Les Miserables”. I struggled through the first quarter of the book, only reading it because I knew I had to so I could do well on the test. By the end of the novel, I had experienced so many different feelings and emotions that until that point, I didn’t know you could achieve from reading a book.

Encourage your children to read things they might not normally enjoy. By doing this, you encourage them to start thinking differently than they otherwise would have. Help prepare them for the many wonders this world holds; if you don’t they may just miss out on something that could have changed their life in a very positive way.