....and not a thing to read?
It annoys me when the kids complain that they don't have anything good to read. It reminds me of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when Ferris asks if they saw anything good that day, and Cameron says "nothing good" and Ferris replies "Nothing - wha - what do mean nothing good? We've seen everything good!"
We have everything good in our bookcases!
Whilst I'm the first to admit we do have a LOT of technology in our house (another post for another day!), our first love is books.
You know when you are pregnant, and you are idealistically thinking about what your little peanut will become and what your family will be like? Well, we don't always get what we want. My husband imagined being the cricket or football coach for our son's team (maybe he can be the chess coach instead?). I imagined watching years of ballet concerts and having wardrobes full of costumes (maybe I can watch a piano recital one day instead?). But we both wanted our kids to be readers.
My hubby is a reader (and I wanted someone who could dance really well, never mind!). He often stays up later than he should, "just to the end of the chapter". He almost exclusively reads fiction and loves now that the kids have good series of books to get his teeth into too.
|Hubby's bedside table|
I read more non-fiction than him - books to learn about giftedness, homeschooling, running magazines, how to build chicken coops. And fiction books have to get me in, or I find myself snoozing before too long, but I enjoy getting lost in other worlds. Sometimes I long for a really cold, rainy day, as an excuse to make a (well, several) cups of tea and curl up and get lost in a good book for hours.
|My bedside table|
I've read a couple of blog posts lately that have referred to the relief the parents felt when their reluctant reader finally picked up a book on their own initiative and read it (and enjoyed it!). I feel for them, because in this regard, we are really very lucky.
We read to our kids from when they were very tiny. And their love of reading seemed to naturally flow from that. My boy, who hates to write, loves to read. He loves non-fiction (I don't know how many times he has read Horrible Science and he loves when the Nintendo magazine subscription arrives), but he has also been known to be awake at 1am finishing off a novel (mmm, wonder where he gets that from?).
|Not an uncommon occurrence...|
|Video Boy's bedside table|
My girl loves to read. She pretty much taught herself before starting school and one of my fondest "proud mummy moments" was picking her up from preschool, to find her surrounded by a circle of children, reading a story out loud to them. It is such a pleasure now to see her enjoying some of my old favourites such as the Secret Garden, and finding new stories of her own to love.
|Wombat Girl at 15 months|
|Reading to Grandma, aged 4|
|Wombat Girl's bedside table|
We still read aloud - it is hands-down one of the best things about homeschooling. We can spends hours (if my voice holds out) reading our current book if we want. We have more time to explore the world of classic novels. So many books, so little time!
We get our books from the local independent bookstore when we can, although Book Depository and Amazon get a workout too (and are all too easily accessible, in my opinion - maybe the need a "self-declared limit" for problem readers??). The local library is tiny, but we frequent it to top up our supply.
You can tell a lot about people from their house. I like people who have lots of books! Our house (which is really little more than a glorified holiday shack) suffers from lack of storage at the best of times, is filled to overflowing with books. I dream of those beautiful wall-to-wall built in bookcases, with space for nic-nacs and colour-coordinated books....
But the reality is more messy than that (and, apparently so are my editing skills in html - cannot get those pics to line up nicely no matter how I try!):
The media is full of stories of the demise of the printed book. And while we have enjoyed stories on our iPad (love the dictionary features - one double tap and new word learnt!) and I've just downloaded Kindle for PC and will use that as well, we also love our books. I have kept all my books from my childhood, and they are still there, being used and read by my kids now (hence the comment about being annoyed when they say they have nothing to read - hmph, we have lots of good books to read!). There is something about the smell of an old book, handed down through the generations or the smell of a shiny new glossy textbook. Or is it just me?
I guess most of all, we love to read. Learn new things. Get lost in new worlds. Find out a bit more about ourselves in the process. That is what is so cool about books.
I feel a bit for those adults and older children who proudly announce "oh, I don't read" (maybe they are a bit defensive after years of listening to people like me rant at them). But in the words of Anne, of Green Gables, "oh, how much you miss!"