Reading Is the Key

Zig Ziglar on

In 1994, I was invited to speak to a national convention in Nashville, Tenn., and I was picked up at the airport by a friendly limousine driver who had his 10-year-old granddaughter with him. It was "father/daughter" day, but the grandfather was playing father.

The little girl was pleasant and friendly, and I asked her what was the most important thing she could do to have a happy, healthy future. She responded with a question, "I don't know, but what do you think it is?"

I told her that if she would learn to love to read, it would make a dramatic difference in her life. I pointed out that if you love to read, you can learn anything you really want to know. Since I have read an average of three hours a day for the last 25 years, it's obvious I have a passion for the subject. The little girl was quite interested in what I had to say.

In January 1997, I was back in Nashville. The same limo driver picked me up at the airport and asked me if I remembered my conversation with him and his granddaughter. Fortunately, I did. He told me that his granddaughter had taken the message seriously and had become an avid reader, and her grades had substantially improved.

My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Dement Warren, taught me to read. My sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. J. K. Worley, taught me to love to read. I'm convinced parents should let their children see them reading good books, magazines and articles.


Children are great imitators. If they see their parents wrapped up in a good book instead of glued to the television set, they are likely to follow suit. Please consider it, parents. Show your love for reading, and your kids will do the same. That way I'll be able to see you -- and the kids -- at the top!


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