The quiet and beautiful art of reading, by Brian P. Howley (@howleybrianp1)



“The more things that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” ~ Dr Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!


i don’t remember when I learned to read or even how it occurred, but I do know that even as a young boy books and words always had a strong fascination for me. I vaguely remember my father reading me, but for the life of cannot remember what book it was. Much of my childhood was spent lost in the world of Dr Seuss and Enid Blyton amidst the characters and colourful worlds they created.

My Grade 6 teacher Mr McManus instilled in me a love of Australian classic literature, where I shared the great adventures of Blinky Bill and was introduced to Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson.

During the 1980s when I trained as a primary School teacher, I came to understand the importance of reading in the development of literacy in children. Throughout my short teaching career I took great pleasure in reading aloud to my students and loved the impact authors such as Roald Dahl had on them. The look of wonder, horror, joy and the laughter his words evoked made me feel very pleased to be sharing his writing with them.

The understanding of words, their comprehension, the structure of sentences, the syntax and semantics, etc, is truly an art form, and it will always make me sad to think that many people in this world for many reasons cannot read. As a writer of poetry, shorts stories, newspaper columns and children’s books, I am very aware of the influence and power of words. As a reader, I have been blessed to have travelled in time and space and history, to have discovered new worlds. I believe strongly that my appreciation of the “real world” has been enriched by the reading experience.

For the children, the reading of a book exposes them to new ideas and experiences, shows them difference, introduces morality and other concepts, and allows them to enjoy the exhilaration of escaping for a while into the bright and colourful world of someone else’s imagination.

Through Col’s Big Australian Adventure, I have endeavoured to provide my wonderful readers with the opportunity to share in the life of a dog loving Australian family. I’ve also hopefully allowed readers to travel this great big beautiful country I am privileged to live in.

The ability to read is without doubt a quiet and beautiful art. When I see students at the school I now work at sitting quietly with their head in a book, I give quiet and sincere thanks that they have discovered this art form.


Brian P. Howley’s Col’s Big Australian Adventure was recently translated, published and promoted as a Chinese ebook. This article is published here with his permission.

Image thanks to:, “Reading and its Psychology: How Reading Affects Our Brains”.



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