It’s December, which means many of us are busy shopping for the kids in our lives. This holiday season, I want to encourage you, implore you even, to make sure any gift you give to a child of any age includes a book (or twelve!).
Giving books, whether to your own child or to someone else’s, helps build that child’s home library—a critical resource in pushing long-term academic success, passion for learning and intellectual curiosity. Numerous studies agree that having a wealth of books in the home is directly correlated to academic achievement. That’s not all: one’s personal book collection is a source of comfort and happy memories.
“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor
More than 25 years later, I can still remember the individuals who gave me particular books, even books I no longer own. They are infinitely meaningful to me—meaningful because of the stories and insights between their covers and important because of which cousin or aunt or family friend picked them out just for me. Thoughtfully selecting books for a child shows her that you were paying attention. You listened when he talked nonstop about something and took careful note of what excited and intrigued him. You took the time and effort to find a book that would appeal to her while opening up new worlds.
Purchasing books shows kids that we value reading—literally. We believe that books are so important they are worth spending money on. We make a special place in our homes for books (or, in some cases, let them take over our homes and simply live in the space that’s left). They are among our prized possessions.
So if you are buying gifts this month, consider the gift of books!
Click here to download book recommendations for middle schoolers.