This February in schools across the U.S., kids are celebrating I Love to Read Month with fun activities, guest readers, and contests. Studies have shown that students who develop proficient reading skills and a regular reading habit gain more success academically and later in life. That doesn’t change when school’s out; adults with regular reading habits are also more likely to experience success.
The benefits of reading are many: improved focus and critical thinking skills; increased knowledge and vocabulary and a broader world view; better writing skills; entertainment and stress relief (escape from reality, anyone?); and a stronger emotional connection to the people and world around us.
Subject matter and format can vary, of course – you don’t just have to read the classics to reap the benefits (although I highly recommend Pride and Prejudice). Read whatever interests you. Essays, self-help, business guides, memoirs, poetry, newspapers, magazines, blog posts – even listening to audiobooks or podcasts.
Looking for recommendations? We’ve compiled a list of some of the Prime Team’s favorite reads.
My reading is pretty limited to kid books currently, so Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss is a favorite as well as Sandra Boynton’s books, even though my kids are getting a little old for them; and Harry Potter, though my kids are a little young for the later ones. My personal (adult) favorites are funny autobiographies (Tina Fey, Ellen, etc.), WWII history books, with some cheesy Nicholas Sparks and reliably dramatic John Grisham titles thrown in. I wish I could say my favorites were some of the greats… maybe someday.
My favorite books to date are the high-fantasy Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. Why? Because I’m pretty sure I have a giant crush on one of the main characters, Hadrian Blackwater. The author’s youngest daughter, who has dyslexia, was struggling with reading, so he wrote this fantasy series with her in mind. After he wrote the third book, his wife insisted that his writing “just had to get out there,” but after thirteen novels and hundreds of rejections, he refused. His wife took on the challenge herself, which ultimately led to publication. I like people who don’t give up, and he didn’t. I also love that he wrote these for his daughter.
One of my (many) all-time favorite books is Love Does by Bob Goff. I absolutely love this book because it is about living life to the fullest and how ordinary people forget to simply love one another and how small actions of love can change everything.
The Harry Potter series are definitely my favorite books! I’ve reread most of them at least five times and couldn’t possibly pick one of them to be my favorite.
I have always loved The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. It is the most amazing love story, and it’s perfect for this time of year. If I don’t have time to read the book, I settle for the movie around Valentine’s Day. I could watch and read this story over and over. I cry every time!
My favorite book is The Hostapedia by Mark R. Zilis. I use it as a reference for planting hostas in my garden. The large 1,125-page hard-bound encyclopedia features over 7,400 hosta descriptions, A-Z. It is the ultimate guide for referencing the hosta size, coloration, habit, etc, with tons of photos and information.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Although I love to ride motorcycles, you don’t have to be a rider to appreciate this book. The author is on a summer cross-country motorcycle trip, with his son on the back nonetheless, and he spends his days on the road thinking back about his life, how we live, and how to live better.
The Giver by Lois Lowry. I typically go for suspense/mystery type books like the Harlan Coben and James Patterson types, but the one book I can always come back to is The Giver. I’ve loved it since the first time I read it in my early school years. I had a Critical Thinking & Great Ideas class in college that focused on utopian/dystopian societies, and of course The Giver was included in that, which refreshed my liking for it! It’s a quick, easy read, but very intriguing and such a good story.
My favorite book is really a series – Harry Potter. I started the series pretty close to when it first came out and still love to re-read them today. I used to have a favorite, but now that I am older, I enjoy them all as they each tell a piece of the story. I have always loved reading, but this was the first series of books I really got into. Many memories were created with my whole family and this series.
The Nature of Personal Reality: Specific, Practical Techniques for Solving Everyday Problems and Enriching the Life You Know (A Seth Book) by Jane Roberts. For me this is the best guide for personal development and growth as a person and an individual.
“You were born into a state of grace. It is impossible for you to leave it. You will die in a state of grace whether or not special words are spoken for you, or water or oil is poured upon your head. You share this blessing with the animals and all other living things. You cannot fall out of grace, nor can it be taken from you. You can ignore it. You can hold beliefs that blind you to its existence. You will still be graced but unable to perceive your own uniqueness and integrity, and blind also to other attributes with which you are automatically gifted.”
“You get what you concentrate upon. There is no other main rule.”
We hope that our list has inspired you to visit your local bookstore or library and pick up a good book – or download an e-book – for I Love to Read Month.