New Delhi: Reading is another form of meditation for some. It takes time to get used to it, especially in this tech-savvy world where an apple is no longer a fruit but a brand that every other person wishes to possess. While the focus is shifting more on gadgets and latest technologies, it is important to inculcate reading habits in kids for the overall growth of their personality.

Make a start

This is no difficult task, all one needs to do is think of the good old days when our nani's and dadi's used to tell bed time stories. Yes, in order to make your child start reading, you first have to read to them. As the children listen to bedtime stories they get used to books and demand more of them.
Kids like pictures therefore if you read from pictorial books like 'The Three Snow Bears' by Jan Brett, Amar Chitra Katha, Panchtantra, etc., reading will fascinate them and once they grow up to the age of 10 to 12 years, you can make them buy children fiction books like Famous Five, Nancy Drew, Alice in Wonderland, etc.

Visit book stores

Another thing that one can do is to make children visit book stores once in week and let them buy books they wish to. This will generate their interest in books and reading as well. Parents may also take their kids to book fairs.

Children enjoy acting in kid's plays like The Christmas Carol and they remember it throughout their life. So encourage your child to participate in such activities in school and read out these plays to your kids. This will again encourage the child to read and know more.

Make your child join reading clubs, they will surely enjoy, make friends, learn new things and read a lot. There are a lot of reading clubs in the city where parents can enroll their children.

Neeta Aneja, who herself has joined a reading club says, "I used to take my eldest daughter Shreya to book shops when she was young. She would pick up any book, especially the one with interesting pictures and colours. At that time she did not realise what she bought but that helped her develop an interest in books and reading. Now, she has a huge collection of at least 200 books. Her imagination and creativity has improved and she takes part in school debates. Books have definitely shaped her life."
She further adds, "Now, I've made my younger daughter join reading classes. There the teacher read books to her and makes her read too. Reading is important and keeps the child occupied in good things."

Why reading is important?

Reading habit may bring a sea change in an overall personality of a person. Sonia Singh proves this point and says, "I was in Class IV when my English teacher said that if not more, we should read at least one page every night before sleeping. That was the time I started reading and now it has been more than 15 years I read daily."
She further says, "I started reading books like Famous Five, Secret Seven, etc. by Enid Blyton and then I moved to books by Sidney Sheldon, JD Robb, Arundati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, etc. and now I read everything. Reading has helped me in improving my personality, vocabulary and I believe no matter what you read, it gives immense knowledge, confidence and helps understand relationships."

Divya who goes to college says, "I like reading but I read more of Harry Potter and Twilight series. I read these books diligently."
Reading also helps in improving the creativity and imagination of the person. The more you read the more the horizons of the brain are broadened.

(Courtesy: City Plus)