Reading is Key

A couple of weeks ago I attended a “literacy night” put on by the day school operated by our church. It was a popular event for the students and families of our school. There was dinner, free books for the kids, breakout sessions by age group, and a special guest speaker named Jane Marko. Although Jane was gearing her remarks toward the kids who were present, what she presented was applicable to most everyone.

As a speaker myself, I was impressed by her energy, and her knowledge of the topic. The topic for the night was, of course, reading. Jane Marko made a compelling case that we all ought to be reading, reading more, and reading often.

According to Jane, reading is the key to:

  • Success
  • Knowledge
  • Being who you want to be

Who couldn’t, wouldn’t, or doesn’t, need those things? In fact, all three of them go together: knowledge brings success in being who you want to be. But it takes time and commitment to be a reader.

Here’s what Jane Marko recommends in order to make it happen in your home:

  • Turn off the TV
  • Have lots of books around
  • Create a book shelf just for kids’ books
  • Read the books that your children are reading
  • Read with your child
  • Set aside time for reading each day
  • “Make it a date” to go to the library weekly

Jane makes clear what we already know, but need to be reminded: When you read you get smarter. We need to know everything we can about the world. In this day and age, when information explodes exponentially literally every minute, filling our brains with knowledge is critical not only to treading water in school or our career, it is critical to get ahead in an extremely competitive world.

It’s a good idea to make reading a habit. Jane Marko recommends reading at least (or just!) twenty minutes a day. Those twenty minutes every day add up and put one ahead of those who read less, or are not reading at all. At our literacy night Jane appealed to my competitive nature. She challenged everyone present to commit to reading more than the next person. I took it as a challenge to read more than I already do.

According to Jane it takes twenty-one days of consistent change to make something a habit. If you’re already in the habit of reading twenty minutes a day, good for you! If not, I challenge you to commit, along with me, to reading at least twenty minutes every day for the next twenty-one days. That takes us to May 18th. That would be only seven hours of reading between now and then. You can do it!

If you’re going to accept my challenge to read consistently these next twenty-one days, please post a comment below.

Let’s make ourselves smarter than our next door neighbors, co-workers, and fellow students these next twenty-one days. What tips do you have for making reading a habit in your home?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “Reading is Key

  1. congrats on the new site! It looks great!!

    I take time to read every day, even if its just while I blowdry my hair in the morning (seriously). I love reading and do it as much as I can…still miss the summer days when I'd check out 8-10 books at a time and blow through them in a few days! 🙂

  2. Hi there…I thought I'd come out of the woodwork and actually comment here. My wife and I read to our children at least every night before bed. My 4 1/2 year old daughter is working her way through the Little House series with Mommy, and I've finished The Hobbit and am now starting to work my way through The Lord of the Rings (finished Book 1 last week!) with my 2 1/2 year old son. Of course, we stop and act stuff out, so it's probably not solely reading, but it sure helps and he will tell Mommy about the story the next day.

    As a pastor, I've been trying to keep up with some sort of reading on a regular basis…I'm not great, but I still managed to finish about 30 books last year. I would agree, though…reading is the key to so many doors!

    • We did the same thing with our kids, and it has paid off big time. I can remember reading them the Chronicles of Narnia, and other books, especially and including a wonderful Children's Bible we had. The love of reading was fostered in them, and they still enjoy it. You're doing a great thing, Jed…and thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. I've always loved to read and I do read something everyday.

    What blew me away from Jane Marko's presentation were the statistics of how time spent reading exponentially increases vocabulary, knowledge and, yes, the standardized test scores.

    So, read on!!!! Tonight's going to be a "Book Night".

  4. Started reading "The Magician's Elephant" to my daughter—full drama mode, voices, movement, gestures. I'd forgotten how much fun it is. She asked to turn off the TV later that evening so the whole family could enjoy the book together. A simple blast.

    Product placement for The Kindle has changed my reading and that of my family in the best possible way. My reading has increased ten-fold since I bought the gizmo. I can hand it to any of my children, they can download what they want (often in the car), and are off and reading in no time. The Library of Alexandria is at our fingertips, folks!



    • Truth in Advertising: Jane Marko has been an awesome help and support for Mt. Calvary! …Thanks for stopping by!