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Forum Summary: The Forgotten Key to Individual Growth

Author: Ryan Price | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22

Estimated reading time: 2 min.

For this week’s forum, Dr. Douglas Winnail shared with the LivingEd students what he called a forgotten key to individual growth—that key being reading.

He discussed the alarming trend of neglecting books and showcased the many benefits of reading to encourage the students to read more books. 

Spending Your Time Wisely

In 2 Peter 1:5–6, Peter says to add to your faith virtue and knowledge, a deepening awareness of facts and information. He also implores us to add to knowledge self-control—in other words, deciding how we will use our time. It’s incredibly easy to waste time, yet so very important to spend it well.

Reading Is on a Decline

There is a sharp decline in reading today. One study from 2014 entitled Decline of the American Book Lover has shown that 25 percent of adults don’t read a single book in a year. Children have also begun to read less and less. What are the consequences of this? 

A 1991 study entitled The Death of Reading addressed the consequences of not reading. One of its findings was that when we don’t read, we lose a form of thinking. Children who watch TV rather than read can even lose the ability to write and speak coherently. Electronic entertainment is replacing reading and home libraries are being replaced by entertainment centers.

When You Read, You Think

Reading provides time for reflection. When you read, you can visualize things in your mind in ways you can’t when watching TV. It helps you process and analyze information, enhances your imagination and cognitive ability, and broadens your perspective. When we read a book, we have the opportunity to “walk” with its author and learn from their experience. Of course, there are many useless books, but if we’re selective, we can get into the minds of people who have had an impact upon the whole world.

Dr. Winnail used the remaining time in his message to encourage the students to read other books in addition to their class textbooks and assigned reading materials and recommended a selection of books he found personally beneficial. In his conclusion, he shared a number of quotes on reading. One quote he shared by the English poet Joseph Addison summarized his point well: “Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.”