The students at St. Joseph S.S. read more than one million words last semester.
In a uniquely powerful way reading fiction teaches us more about life than anything else can. It allows us to see the world in a different way enriching our lives and making our existence more meaningful. Here are some reasons why reading fiction is the most important thing you can do before you graduate:
Imagination: Reading literature cultivates the imagination more than any other cognitive process. Tyrants and dictators hate literature. Cultures steeped in literature have thrived.
Communication: Writing and talking about literature helps prepare people to write and talk about anything. Reading is the only thing to improve vocabulary and literacy which improves intelligence. When someone reads they work with words and carefully consider language and they also consider how different kinds of people think and react to and understand words.
Analysis: Literary works - whether fiction, poetry, drama - challenge readers to make connections, to weigh evidence, to question, to notice details, to make sense out of rich experience. These analytical abilities are fundamental life skills.
Empathy: Because literature allows us to inhabit different perspectives in different times and places, we learn to think about how other people see the world. How other people think and feel about the world. This knowledge helps to erase sexism and racism and allows us to more compassionate.
Understanding: From the time we start t learn about our world we think in terms of stories. People who have experienced more stories are better able to think about actions and consequences.
Agility: Literary words often ask us to think in complex ways, to hold sometimes contradictory, or apparently conflicting ideas in our minds. This allows us to be more mentally flexible and open to new ides.
Meaningfulness: Literary works often challenge us t think about our place in the world, about the significance of what we are trying to do. If we think about the motivations and values of the characters we read about it will lead to a richer life for ourselves.