It’s National Library Day: Let’s Talk about Armchair Traveling!

(Photo is a candid picture of our kids reading at one of our favorite local places, The Hockessin Library.)

While we usually write on this blog about real-life, local travel, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to mention that armchair travel (by which we mean reading), is vital to our family!

Today is National Library Day, and we wanted to celebrate our libraries here on the blog, because they have been such a fabulous resource throughout our lives.

Reading can take us to far off places we may never see in real life, or teach us about the history, context and highlights of places we do visit. I love to read up on the places that we go – everything from travel guides to novels set there, or memoirs by authors who lived there. All of these can help to deepen the experience of traveling.

But there are even greater benefits to reading. Reading puts us in another’s shoes, and teaches us to see life from someone else’s perspective. As such, it makes us more empathetic, more understanding, and wiser in the ways we relate to others. Not to mention that it’s great for your brain! These are just a few of the reasons why it’s so important to encourage children to read.

Our local libraries have done such a wonderful job helping to instill a love of books in our kids. They create a bright, cheerful environment that includes opportunities for imaginative play alongside loads of books. They have tons of creative programs that encourage reading and creative thought. They draw us in to the world of reading and keep us engaged and using our brains (as opposed to the passive, mindless process of scrolling on a screen that tends to occupy too much of our time!)

Reading in the car makes me carsick, but did you know that most libraries also have audio books you can rent on CD or digitally, and listen to on your next road trip? If you don’t want to take up room in your suitcase don’t worry – your library most likely has books available that can be downloaded directly to your cell phone or tablet. We pack a few thin bedtimes stories and the rest come on our screens.

So thank you to our libraries, and tell us in the comments about your local library, your favorite books, and what you like to read while traveling!

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