My big girl at age 3 doesn’t know the difference between the library and the book store. She uses the words interchangeably. This has probably occurred because regardless of which one we go to, we do the same activities: browse around, read a few, and walk out with a book…or two…or three.
When big girl was little, I did my best to keep her toy count low. But I would never refuse books! I LOVE books, and I see that passion slowly developing in my girls.
My mom insists that I didn’t inherit my love for books from her. She likes to read, but not too much and nothing too heavy. My grandmother, on the other hand, is a voracious reader! She devours books! Growing up, and to this day, she always has a stack of books near by.
She reads quickly – she can finish reading a book (maybe more) in 1 day! She reads all types of books – anything that comes her way. And although she did not attend college, she has learned a lot from what she has read over the years. I can remember watching the television game show Jeopardy! with her as a kid and she could answer every question. I was amazed by her knowledge.
I, myself, don’t remember reading much myself as a young girl. In fact, I do recall reading the Cliff Notes (condensed note-like version with explanations) of books assigned in high school because I couldn’t keep up. I am not a fast reader, but I love to read. I like to read books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, anything with the written word.
Reading, especially fiction, is my escape – it is my form of relaxation (usually with a glass of wine in hand). I love to go to someone else’s world at the end of my day! I am hoping to pass on this trait to my girls, too, so I have surrounded them in books from day one.
I started reading to big girl literally at birth. I read, in the book, “Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain”, by Maryanne Wolf that it takes approximately 2000 days to learn to read, and the clock begins on the day you start doing so. So there I was, reading to a newborn baby – ready, set, go! And, I read everything and anything to her.
I can recall reading to her “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson in the middle of the night. Big girl had her days and nights mixed up and was wide awake – so I read to her my book club pick. It was a special day when big girl first sat in my lap wanting to listen to the story – it was around the age of 16 months. Up until that point, she would toddle around me while I read to her aloud. By the time she turned 2, her favorite activity would be for us to read every book on the shelf.
So at 3 and a half, she still loves books as much as I do. But now she likes to pick her own books, which would not always be my first choices. And her sister, little girl, is developing the same book loving habits. When the girls are quiet, they are usually sitting and looking at the pages of books.
I like to consider myself a minimalist (which is simply my excuse for not decorating our home) and rarely read a book more than once. The only book that I have read multiple times is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Once I read a book, I usually pass it on for some one else to enjoy and don’t want it back.
I was recently at a book signing, and the author asked me who to make the dedication to; my response was no one, since I was most likely going to pass it on after I was finished (yes, I told the author this). Since I don’t read books multiple times, I prefer to borrow books from the library whenever possible. They are free! And, I get to give them back when I am done so they don’t clutter my house.
But for my girls, I love to buy books. I love to bring a new book into the house and read it to them multiple times in a row. Or place a book on their shelf (which is organized by color) and come back to it a few weeks or months later. It is my way of spoiling them. I am often impressed that big girl can describe a book she is looking for, “You know, Momma, the one with the ballet girl…” which describes many books in our house.
I sometimes worry about the girls reading in the future. In the world of the internet and e-readers, I wonder if books will become extinct. I like to think and hope that technology will simply be a compliment to books. And that when my girls are my age, they will take their children to the library and book store, too. And that their children will sit in her lap and turn paper pages.
Do you enjoy reading books yourself or to your child?
And, do you think you can spoil a child with too many books?
This has been an original post for World Moms Blog by A. Roselyn of California, USA.
Photo credits to A. Roselyn.