How Reading Is Better Than Drugs or Alcohol
I began to read at the usual age for those growing up in the 60s, at age 5. How soon I began to immerse myself in books after that is not precisely remembered, but by the age of 9 years-old I was visiting the public library on a regular basis.
To say that I devoured books with my eyes and mind is an apt statement. By the time I was 12 years-old, I had read the entire Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. Still eager to read more mysteries, I made my first foray into the adult section of the library, delighted to find the novels of Agatha Christie.
I began reading a book on the walk home from the library and most of my spare moments between school, homework and friends.
In short, reading was nearly as natural as breathing.
When I became of age and some of the people around me were experimenting with marijuana or alcohol -- and offering the same to me -- I rebuffed their offers, explaining I already knew how to enjoy life without mind-altering substances. How naive I must have sounded to them!
To say that I always eschewed alcohol or the occasional smoke would be a lie, but I did find that my original "addiction" to books was preferable to the side effects of drugs or alcohol.
Maybe by helping to instill the love of reading in our children and grandchildren we can help them to avoid the eventual pitfalls of such substances. It may seem a simplistic solution to a very large problem, but it's an effort that should only benefit them in both the short and long run.
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