SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Reading for just 20 minutes a day can expose a young brain to more than two million new vocabulary words every year, and with school right around the corner, recreational reading keeps a student’s mind sharp.
Christi Spivey, youth services director at the Surfside Beach Library, said that reading leads to improved communication skills, better interpersonal skills and increased self confidence. It also helps students learn to think analytically.
“Reading teaches you to deal with life,” Spivey said. “You are learning to comprehend what you’re reading and learning to want to dig deeper for answers that aren’t just on the surface.”
She said in today’s time, it can sometimes be too easy to find answers.
“Reading helps you learn to look for answers,” Spivey said. “I don’t mean Google answers. Google something, that’s very easy, but that also gives you a very easy answer that’s not very deep.”
Spivey said students who regularly read excel in all of their school subjects.
“We encourage students to read all summer,” Spivey said. “[That’s how students] can use summer to keep those skills that they left school with in June, and they have enhanced those skills for two months.”
She said she realizes that recreational reading will not come naturally to every student, so it is a parent’s responsibility to expose their children to books.
“When parents bring their children to the library, when parents have books in their home, when parents encourage their children to read all summer, when they go back to school in a few weeks, they will not be behind,” Spivey said.
She also said parents can set an example by reading to their children and with them.
“Just to bring them to the library,” Spivey said. “I hope that everyone that sees this, if you don’t come to the library, I hope this helps you realize that the library is your resource.”
Spivey said that sometimes all it takes to get into reading is to find a book that is truly enjoyable to the reader.
Jonathan, a rising fifth-grader, agrees.
“If you read the right book, then you’ll probably like it,” Jonathan said.
For Jonathan, the right book keeps him on his toes.
“To me, what makes a good book is a good story,” he said. “One with lots of plot twists and stuff.”
But, really, Jonathan is not that picky.
“I pretty much like all kinds of books,” he said.
Spivey thinks that if children give recreational reading a try, they will find the joy in it and become regular library visitors.
“I just encourage you, if you haven’t come to the library, come and visit us,” Spivey said. “We’re here to meet you and serve the community.”