The Magic of Reading

Our thanks go to all of those who submitted their book photo to our World Book Day competition. The idea was to take a photo of you reading your current of favourite book. The judges were looking for good composition and some combination of relevance or connection between location, costume, props or anything to the book title or theme. There were so many good ones and some real effort made! You can see them in the video below.

But there are winners….

In first place is Margot.

In first place is Margot. The judges loved the perfect composition of the image, the balance of light and shade as well as colour. Magot’s costume and the actual chapati matched the book theme, and the book cover perfectly. But best of all was the expression on her face which gave the image an atmosphere of magic and mystery.

Our two runners up are Olivia H and Bonnie

Although Olivia isn’t actually ‘reading’ in the photo, her creative idea of being surrounded by books that literally give her angelic wings works as a good metaphor of how a reader can be uplifted by their books.

Bonnie is commended for her beautiful outfit and not just the dress, the makeup and the hair, on all of which time has been spend getting it just right with the wry smile and clever positioning of the mirror so we can see the reverse of the dress. Having a version of the book to exactly match the dress colour completes the elegance.

At Fyling Hall we emphasise that reading is important. A child who reads will become an adult who thinks. Regular reading dramatically improves vocabulary which improves memory function as well as the ability to generate thoughts and form and express opinions. Reading is known to reduce stress and improve empathy. It also dramatically develops imagination (the ability to form pictures in the mind) which has the knock-on effect of improving creativity as well as maths ability. ‘Reading’ is not the property of one school subject or another – it belongs to and benefits all human endeavours. 

My favourite quote on the magic of reading is by the late great astrophysicist Carl Sagan (one of my heroes and one of the portraits on my lab wall) who said this: 

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.”

Ayd Instone, Head of Curriculum Enrichment and Communications