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Turn the Pages of Your Imagination by Sneha Pai

By Volunteer Sneha Pai, FHI Bangalore

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.

~ Dr. Seuss

My fondest memory of reading, as a kid, has been taking brief pauses in between sentences of my favorite novels, repeatedly reading some of my favorite lines, visually painting a picture of the author’s description, imagining the possibilities outlined in those sheer paragraphs of text, dreamily stepping into a fantasy world for few seconds, followed by nudging myself back to reality. I associate books primarily as those amazing weapons that possess the power to give wings to my imagination. Imagination can do wonders to one’s thinking and is an essential ingredient in creative thinking. We all need a bit of it in our lives to explore our true potentials.

How reading is good for imagination?

Reading fosters imagination, and the more we indulge in this practice, the better we can expand our knowledge and perspective. Reading books is believed to stimulate the right part of the brain which subsequently is responsible for triggering and exercising our creative side.

In kids, cultivating the habit of reading a book early contributes to raising a confident speaker, writer, and enthusiastic learner. Books also offer kids the much-required mental stimulation, boost their creativity, provide inspiration, and help in developing memories and imagination in the young minds.

It is the power of imagination that allows children to put themselves in the shoes of their characters and imagine what they must exactly be going through. And if you observe carefully, this trait is what could help children to read their own emotions and alongside the emotions of their characters. This behavior promotes empathy and building connections with people which further enhances their emotional quotient preparing them better for adulthood.

And if we have to wonder why imagination is necessary, imagination encourages creativity and innovative thinking. Without imagination, there would be no new ideas or inventions. And reading plays a key role in building imagination. In the book “Why Reading Books Still Matters: The Power of Literature in Digital Times”, researchers Martha C. Pennington and Robert P Waxler state “If imagination and magical thinking connected to reason spur discovery, innovation, and new understandings, it can be maintained that literature has a key role in both developing and engaging imaginative and magical thinking”.

Book Joy with FHI

Literacy is the foundation of education and a life full of learning. In addition to enhancing imagination, reading holds many other benefits providing vast opportunities to the young ones as they step higher. Unfortunately, not all children have easy access to this beautiful world of imagination through books. The #BookJoywithFHI initiative was started exactly for this purpose – to introduce children from underprivileged backgrounds to the magical world of books.

We at FHI believe we can make a difference in the future of many children around us through the power of reading and imagination. Through this initiative, FHI wishes that every child is able to experience the joy of reading and step into the wonderful world of books just like how You and I did as a child.

And if I have to share how important books are for me, even on the busiest days, I try and spend at least 10-minutes trying to read or sometimes even re-read a favorite book of mine to be transported into a new world, dream, get inspired, and just maybe try to get to know myself and the world around me better.

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