Heidi's Alm-uncle won't send her to school to read, even after the village pastor comes to say she must go to school. However, when Dete takes Heidi to become the invalid Clara's companion, Heidi learns to read from Clara's tutor. Clara is insistent that Heidi learn to read, and when she does learn to read, Clara's grandmother gives her a book.
Heidi loves to read and eagerly tells her blind grandmother about it when she returns to the village. The grandmother says yes when Heidi asks if she can read to her. Heidi finds an old hymn book on a shelf, blows the dust from it and begins to read a hymn. The grandmother is deeply moved:
The grandmother sat with folded hands and a look of indescribable joy on her face, such as Heidi had never seen there before, although at the same time the tears were running down her cheeks.
The grandmother asks Heidi to read the hymn again. Listening to it brings a look of joy to the grandmother's face. She is glad that Heidi can read and says that Heidi is a comfort to her. Although Heidi is a vibrant child of nature, reading becomes an important part of her life and a gift she can give other people by reading aloud to them.