A novel idea

Published 10:41 am Monday, November 14, 2022

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

With the popularity of social media and unlimited access to short-form content, I feel that everyone’s attention spans have suffered.

Now that I have finished college and no longer have assigned reading, I have had to make myself sit down and read despite the fact that reading was a favorite activity of mine as a child.

Reading requires one to take time to fully comprehend the material and use one’s imagination. A task that is much more difficult than passively watching a YouTube video or scrolling through posts on social media.

In a Chelsea City Council meeting on Oct, 18, Mayor Tony Picklesimer made a proclamation declaring Tuesday, Nov. 1 as Family Literacy Day.

“I, Mayor Tony Picklesimer, do hereby proclaim Nov. 1 as ‘National Family Literacy Day’ in Chelsea, Alabama,” he said, “to underscore the importance of liberty and celebrate the joys of reading and encourage residents to promote literacy by reading together as a family and to extend our deepest appreciation to our local librarian, educators and literacy service providers for their tireless efforts to strengthen the literacy of our children in our community.”

Reading for entertainment is certainly not lost, but it is something that needs to be protected and reinforced to the public, especially those of us who no longer are in school.

Members of the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution recently gathered in front of the Chelsea Historical Museum to commemorate the proclamation of Nation Family Literacy Day and the dedication of a free library of books for the public on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

“Literacy is not just about reading and writing for children, but for adults as well,” Chelsea Historical Society Vice President Kristi Averette said. “Every person deserves the opportunity to read and write and to sit down with their families and learn together.”

I believe it is important that we spend time in recreational reading. The next time you are out and about bring a book with you and take a few moments to read instead of scrolling through social media.

If reading is something that you believe you do not enjoy, I suggest you give it a second chance. Perhaps the reason you hate reading may simply be because of the kind of material you were forced to engage with back in school.

It does not have to be some great piece of literary canon like “Great Expectations.” Don’t immediately start with material that is heavy, boring or difficult to comprehend.  Whatever you find entertaining and engaging is good enough.

If you have struggled like myself with getting back into the habit, start with something fun like science fiction, fantasy or romance. You never know, you might awaken a passion that is fulfilling and productive.