Reading for a Lifetime

In my house, you can’t find a room without a book or some sort of reading material. Even the garage has books in it as I have set aside some books I’ve read to donate to the local library. In my house, you will find books for all age groups that span all genres. Toddler board books? Check. Children’s dictionary? Absolutely essential for the parent of twin second-graders. Sci-fi books? We have several. Classics? I kept most of them, even my copy of Madame Bovary. Romance novels? Of course. How to write a romance novel? Below my desk in a neat row. I love books, and if there’s one thing I pass on to my children, it’s a love of reading.

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer. Or maybe it’s because I’m the mother of four, but people ask me when my children started reading. I say it’s not important at what age they started reading, but what’s important is I read to every one of them the day they were born. What’s important is whether they keep reading throughout their lifetimes.

I’m even writing this blog at a library. Looking around I see books on a variety of topics: Soul Food Love. Fishing for Dummies. American Guide to Hiking Trails. (Note: I try to sit near the nonfiction so I’m less likely to stop writing to go look at a book that’s caught my eye.) There are books for everyone.

As a writer, I love books and often have my Kindle in my purse so I’m never far away from the book I’m reading. Yet as a parent, I often wonder if my kids will read when they are adults. The other day when I was driving my son to school, he told me he knows kids who don’t read outside of school. They haven’t picked up a non-assigned book since elementary school. Yesterday, my youngest daughter and I were talking in the car about schoolwork. I told her one of the best ways to do better in school is to read at home. I told her the more she reads, the more she’ll improve her vocabulary, the more she’ll be able to read the math word problems on her own, and the more she’ll be able to understand the textbooks. I stopped when I started to sound like the narrator of the wonderful children stories by Laura Numeroff, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

What was the last book you read (I won’t ask when)? Let me know.

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