Two big factors in my life helped instill the love of reading in me. I thought I’d talk with you today about that. Firstly, I was read to as a child and secondly, I saw reading going on in my household. My mother and older brother were and still are avid readers. They almost always had a book they were reading. Little did I know at the time that this sent a message to me that reading is important. What could I do but pick up a book and read too?
I read everything. Yes, I was one of those kids that read the cereal box as I ate breakfast in the morning. Didn’t matter that I’d read the same box the morning before. I had my favorite books. Little House on the Prairie was my favorite series and I read it time and again. I also looked for books similar to that series and read them. As I got older, I moved on to other authors such as Louisa May Alcott, Grace Livingston Hill and then Janette Oke’s Canadian West series and Seasons of the Heart series melted my teenage heart. As I became an adult I discovered other great authors such as Edith Wharton, Anita Shreve, Nicholas Sparks and I do still love juvenile and young adult fiction. My personal favorite children’s authors of the moment are Richard Peck, Vivian Vande Velde, Suzanne Collins…..and my constant fav being Laura Ingalls Wilder (yes, I still read her books and don’t get me started on how I feel about the spin off books from her beloved series).
I was the quiet child in the back of the classroom who rarely participated yet secretly thrilled when told we had to read classics. I think I loved them all! Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories and of course his Scarlet Letter, other short stories like Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery that just makes you go wow! And then has you thinking of the meaning of such a story. To Kill A Mockingbird which shines a light on the injustices of the world—my world right here in the South. I even liked Miss Havisham and her creepy self.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, if you are looking for ways to instill the love of reading in your child one of the best places to start is by being a reader and letting your child see you reading. Also, read to your child. Visit the library and borrow books to share with your child. Let them see that books are important to you. Reading with your child gives them an understanding of how stories work, that there is a beginning, middle and end. It also encourages imaginative thinking. I’m reminded of a quote I read somewhere recently: “Open your child’s imagination. Open a book.”
The library is here to help you with this. Need reading suggestions? Want to attend programs that encourage reading? Check us out today and see what we have to offer. There's something for everyone! Even great adult programming such as the program just recently with the author of The Rebel Wife.