Instead of educating the I.Q., we need to educate the H.Q., the heart quotient, the matters of truth, love, justice, and compassion. There are two ways to do this. One is through the read life experiences and the other is through literature. Literature has the power to take us outside ourselves and returns to ourselves a changed self.
No player in the NBA was born wanting to play basketball. The desire to play ball or to read must be planted. The last 25 years of research show that reading aloud to a child is the oldest, cheapest and must successful method of instilling that desire. Shooting baskets with a child creates a basketball player; reading to a child creates a reader.
Common sense should tell us that reading is the ultimate weapon--destroying ignorance, poverty and despair before they can destroyus. A nation that doesn't read much doesn't know much. And a nation that doesn't know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box and the voting booth...The challenge, therefore, is to convince future generations of children that carrying a book is more rewarding than carrying guns.
You became a reader because you saw and heard someone you admired enjoying the experience, someone led you to the world of books even before you could read, let you taste the magic of stories, took you to the library, and allowed you to stay up later at night to read in bed.
Imagine what our culture would be like if Americans sold ideas, words, and books with the same creativity we use to sell designer jeans, shampoo, and rock stars. Why, we might end up with people whos attention span for the printed word is longer than the time it takes to read a T-shirt.