There was a meme on social media suggesting that the NRA becomes the National Reading Association and all the money currently spent on lobbying be redirected to libraries. Whether you agree with that idea or not, I think everyone can agree that fostering a love of reading among children is a good thing.
Today would be Dr. Seuss’s (Theodor Geisel) 114th birthday. It has become a day to celebrate reading – a present he would have been sure to enjoy. In our town, dozens of local leaders are participating in Read Across America Day by reading a Dr. Seuss book to elementary students across the tri-states. I will spend the afternoon making silly noises with kindergartners as I read Mr. Brown Can Moo – Can You? to them. I can hear the giggles now!
In addition to their on-going reading efforts, the school districts have highlighted reading by allowing the guest readers to come into the classrooms today. But it’s not only young people who need to read. Adults can benefit from the input non-fiction works provide them and they can be transported to another place and reduce their stress through the literary world of fiction.
Think of how your organization can incentivize reading by your staff. Maybe you can make it a norm to put a “reading hour” on the calendar – starting with the boss modeling this behavior. You can provide milk and cookies one morning a month and encourage staff to clear their calendar to delve into a new book in their field. You can ask for reading reports or recommendations at meetings. Start a voluntary book club with your staff. Put in a lending library. Offer each staff member one book a quarter on Amazon.
Whether through guest readers or organizational incentives, cultivating reading habits is a benefit to all. Break your routine of flipping on the television or grabbing an electronic device, and discover the magic that lurks in between the paper pages.