Taylor Swift gave a talk to hundreds of schoolchildren on Wednesday, October 27, urging them to pick up books and start reading for pleasure. The country star visited the headquarters of educational organization Scholastic Inc. in New York City to address around 200 young pupils, who had been given a break from lessons to attend their idol's lecture.
Swift took to the stage and told the youngsters about her favorite novel, Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", and encouraged them to take up reading for themselves. She said, "It doesn't have to be a big, thick, long book. You don't have to pick up something that looks scary."
She added, "I think that smart kids are the coolest kids. (Without books) you can let little things pass you by, little details. Like, say you're driving down the road and there's just this really beautiful autumn tree and it has these gorgeous orange leaves. You might just let that pass you by if you have never read books that describe how beautiful they are, from somebody else's perspective."
Swift also treated the kids to a short performance with her band at the end of the talk, performing her new single, "Mine", according to the Associated Press.