Hi! I am Lakshmi Mitter, the founder of MerryGoBooks – a service that creates personalised children’s books, that are fine tuned to specific interests of every child. I have also written several short stories for children that have appeared in children’s newspapers and magazines such as The Hindu Young World, Magic Pot, Deccan Herald and Intelly Jelly. Five of my picture books are available on Amazon. In addition to writing entertaining stories for children, I strongly believe that creating awareness about daily life economics among children, is extremely important. In an endeavour to make that possible, I write a monthly column on current matters in economics, for Robin Age.
Encouraging children to read for pleasure has been a matter that is extremely close to my heart. For a variety of reasons, many children today do not choose to read and enjoy a book as a means to pass time but instead prefer electronic media as a more entertaining option. Why does that happen? That question led me to do more research, reach out to children’s book authors and illustrators, teachers and even parents to find answers to that question. Over time, I discovered that is a question that has multiple answers and facets. All the findings are documented in the form of interview features and articles in my publication Reading Journey by MerryGoBooks
What I hope to do this week on The WonderWomenWorld is to call out to many wonderful mothers on this platform, to hear their voices pertaining to an extremely important subject- Encouraging Children to Read For Pleasure. I also hope to kindle fruitful discussions that would help many parents who are either just about to embark on the reading journey of their children as well as those who are struggling to ensure that their children read.
Benefits of reading
Why read? Apart from the stereotype reasons that emphasise the need for children to cultivate the reading habit, reading in my opinion is a means to travel to beautiful worlds both imaginary as well as real, and experience the lives of different people. What does that do? It widens our minds, perspective and eventually in becoming better individuals. As Anu Krishna aptly describes it, “One must learn to experience reading and not simply learn to read.”
It is important to expose children to books that spark joy in their minds. This day and age is probably the best time to be around as a kid, as there are books available for every kind of interest. You just need to look for it in the right place.
I had the fortune of meeting a young author Ananya Ganesh who has a published collection of stories to her credit and is the winner of prestigious awards such as “Young Achiever” and “Kidpreneur”. She started writing at the age of 7! Curious to find out if being an avid reader led her to write as well, I caught up with her hoping to find useful tips for many children. She pointed out something extremely important. In her own words, “I think, most of the time children say they don’t like to read, because they haven’t been exposed to the genre that they would enjoy. It is indeed hard to gauge the kind of reading experience a young child would like, but once your throw them into the right one, they will be hooked. Let them take their pick, and they will love it, someway or the other, in the end.”
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