Comic books are goods read for youths.

For years, the myth was that comic books couldn't help children appreciate reading or improve their literacy skills.

It was generally thought that these books had mostly pictures and graphics, and this did not equate to reading, but more to looking at pictures.

Pictures do tell a story, and often help youths develop vision and imagination. More important, comic books provide the reluctant reader a path to enjoying reading. Kids later move on to other fun books.

Many youths today enjoy superhero games. Having these titles in the library will catch their attention and lead to them check them out.

Smithfield, N.C., librarian Emily Childress-Campbell gives some sound advice to parents about comic books:

•Comics are a format, not a genre.

•Comics featuring beloved characters can serve as a starting place for children and teens who have no idea where to start in their reading.

•Comics' adaptations of prose novels (such as Percy Jackson or the Infernal Devices) may lead a child or teen to read the prose novel.

•Particularly in rural towns, the library may be the only access that readers have to comics.

As library workers, let’s promote the idea that “real reading” is in the eyes (or ears) of each individual reader.

Come in and check out your favorite comic book.

Jean Lewis is the Crestview Public Library's director.