Can Reading save the Human Species?

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Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post, and I’m talking about how Reading just might save our species.

What the heck are you talking about?

I know that’s what you all are thinking, but stay tuned and I’ll explain.

There are 7.4 billion people on our planet today. Keep in mind we only have one planet. According to experts, our planet’s capacity is 9 billion people. We’re living longer and still reproducing. We need to do something fast. The earth is getting crowded. So what can we do?

Photo via Visual hunt

 Good question.

I have an answer.

First of all, we need to teach our kids empathy for our fellow man. Why? Because our planet is getting crowded and we all have to learn to get along. How do we teach empathy?  Get your kids hooked on reading. Reading for pleasure teaches children empathy. Without compassion we’re totally sunk as a species.


Photo credit: thejbird via Visual Hunt / CC BY

How do we get our kids hooked on books? By having access to a wide variety of them. There’s millions of books available to our kids, making these books easy to access is where we’re going to make strides in creating a better world for all of us, because reading for pleasure teaches empathy. I know I keep saying that, but it’s true. It’ been proven. I’ve written a whole article on it. Just click here to read it.


It’s important to remember that in order for our kids to become hooked on reading they must choose reading all on their own. Therefore, they must choose the books they read. So, we as parents have to accept and encourage whatever their choices are. Even if we don’t see the value in the stories they’re reading. So, if your child wants to read graphic novels so be it. It’s better than not reading at all.

Photo via VisualHunt

So how do we as parents foster this love of reading? It’s easy. Start reading to them when they’re young. Model reading for them. That means, you as a parent must spend time reading for pleasure. We have to make time for it. I have my boys read twenty minutes a day. Most days, I read right along with them. Make reading a lifelong habit. It’s a great way to deal with stress.

Photo via VisualHunt

I use it as a coping mechanism, when I have a bad day. I lose myself in a book for at least a half an hour. When I emerge from the story, my stress level is lower and I’m in a better frame of mind. (Another benefit of reading)

I have a great solution for road rage. Pull these people over and make them read for half an hour. Just think what that would do. It’d lower the rager’s stress level and teach them empathy at the same time. I like it. 🙂

Photo credit: Inventorchris via / CC BY-NC

So you see, Reading can solve a wide range of problems for our society, and I don’t think I’m far off the mark by saying it can go a long way to save our species.  So, Read. Read as if your life depended on it! Yes. I’m being melodramatic, but at the same time I make a very good point. 😉

Thanks for reading my post. I appreciate it. What are your thoughts on reading, do you think it’ll save society? I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment!

To read other Slice of Life Posts click here.


About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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32 Responses to Can Reading save the Human Species?

  1. Adrienne says:

    I’ve been reading a lot lately about how reading fiction builds empathy. Goodness knows we need a little more empathy these days.

  2. Loralee says:

    I am remembering that you had asked a question about a kindness movement. The book, Wonder, was all about kindness and it was so helpful when I taught a grade 6 ELA class one year. Reading this book with them was heart-moving.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I love your idea about ‘road rage’. Maybe we can encourage the police to hand out books? Seriously, I loved hearing about your ideas, Lisa. Learning others’ POV through reading is something important for teachers to teach/help students learn through sharing the books that helped them understand others. One year some intuition told me to read Christy Brown’s My Left Foot aloud to my class. I wanted them to understand how a life can be good no matter the circumstances. I taught a mixed group, and had students for at least two years, maybe three, middle school age. That summer one of my students had a terrible accident and lost an arm. Those students who knew about Christy Brown, including this boy, were supportive and helpful all the year, & I believe the knowledge of that book helped.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Oh, Linda, you are so right! I think that book did help. That’s why we need more diverse books so kids can learn empathy for people who are different. Another good book about a boy who survived an accident that changed his life is “The Beginning of Everything.” I loved that story. It was so well written and there was this incredible twist that I didn’t see coming. 🙂 I’d love to get some sort of movement going about reading, but I’m not sure how to do it, or maybe a kindness movement going. Any ideas?

  4. What a good solution for road rage! Empathy and kindness are so needed in today’s world! As you know from reading my post I truly believe reading can foster empathy. Your ideas about modeling a readerly life and allowing students to choose their own books are wonderful. I love the idea of some kind of empathy/kindness blog hop.

  5. Bernadette says:

    I think reading has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. To foster a love of reading in our children and grandchildren is to give them a lifetime gift.

  6. Lisa says:

    I have found this to be the easiest part of parenting for me. 🙂 We tuck into bed every night, read 4 or 5 or 7 or more books. Now they think they can read to me. It’s so fun to have them re-tell familiar stories to me. I don’t know why more people don’t do this every night. Seriously.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      I agree, Lisa! It’s such a great experience for everyone. It’s a bonding moment and a teaching moment all wrapped into one. And the kids associate reading with feeling loved. Isn’t that the most awesome thing?

  7. ALR says:

    Reading is surely the answer!! Thank you for taking the time to share this powerful perspective!

  8. cvarsalona says:

    So let’s spread the thought that reading quiets the raging spirits!

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  11. thebeasley says:

    This is why public libraries are so important in all communities. Another great think piece about the importance of books & reading Lisa.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      I agree. Sadly, I fear the public library is on it’s way out. I’m hearing more and more about how many of them are cutting their staff. I hope we can turn this trend around. 🙂

  12. noellekelly says:

    I love love love this article! Books are so important for development, whether it be regular or audio books or graphic novel. I think it can definitely help humanity and stop sone people being assholes!

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