Growing up I always loved story time. It didn’t matter whether I was at school or at home. There was something about the togetherness that made me feel safe and happy. Not only that, but children’s stories are the best. They do so much to capture the imagination: one minute you can be capturing monsters in the woods, the next, discovering new worlds at the top of a tree or aspiring to be a wizard.

Story time usually came at the end of the day - when all the learning, playing, talking and interacting had been done for the day. All we had to think about was settling down, and using our minds to create wonderful worlds, guided by the author.

But what are some of the other benefits of reading? Why, with so much technology advancing us forward, do we still need the written word? A simple collection of pictures and pages, woven together into stories we never forget.

Here are my top 5 reasons why children should never stop reading:

1) It captures your imagination

Imagination is so important. It’s that spark of excitement that takes you to new places. Capturing all the things you love in this world as well as new possibilities. It can help you decide who you want to be, where you want to go and create worlds in your wind that belong only to you.

And by keeping your imagination open, you’ll always have somewhere to turn to when you need new ideas. As a child, ideas for homework and playtime. As an adult, ideas for business progression or optimising a process.

Imagination is about invention. It’s important to be able to rely on yourself for intellectual stimulation and escape.

2) It develops your vocabulary

Unfortunately we’re not born with words already in our heads. We need to learn them. And with our daily lives now relying so much on screens, text, signs and symbols, reading has never been so important.

It not only develops your vocabulary but it also helps you work on your reading speed.

3) It brings you together

Story time as a child is usually done together. With your parents, as a class, with a teacher – and sharing stories is what we’ve done for thousands of years. Learning morals, lessons for life and most importantly, spending time together where you can sync your thoughts. Share a new world and be close. And also, you’ll always remember that time together. I still share quotes from my favourite childhood books with my mum – it’s funny how they last for so many years.


4) You’ll always remember your favourite book

Though it’s tricky to pick just one, there are lots of books that I remember loving as a child. Some for the illustrations, some because I always wanted to be the main character – learning magic and riding dragons – or some because the stories were too great to forget. And not only will you want to pass on your love for these books to others, but also, like children’s TV programmes, you’ll never be short of good conversation in the pub.

5) It helps you understand the world

Books teach us so many things – especially when you’re young. They teach you about the world and how to interact with it. What happens and what can happen. They explore new contexts and what ifs. Not just as a child but as an adult too. There are so many genres out there and you can pick and choose as you like. They’re personal, and they allow you to relate your own experiences to new characters and situations.

And if your children already have a love for reading or you’re encouraging them to read more, make sure you have some somewhere to store them all!

Hartleys do some super sweet children’s bookshelves in blue and pink. Perfect for making sure story time is never too far away.