March 19, 2012

How To Create Readers

Every night before our girls go to bed, either my wife or I will read to them. Kaia is currently immersed in Judy Moody, and Skyelar is discovering the wonders of "potty" lit. After we have read their stories, I will usually lay in the bed with them as they settle down and fall asleep. I use this time to read my own book.

Tonight as Kaia was teetering on the edge of consciousness, she looks up and asks, "Daddy? What is your new book called?"

"Everything is Illuminated." I say. 

A few seconds pass.

"I like the cover. What happened to the tiger book?"

"I finished it."

A few seconds pass.

"That was fast!"

"It was really good. I stayed up late reading it."

A few seconds pass.

"What does illuminated mean?"

"Lit up. Full of light."

A few seconds pass.

"Like the sky before it turns night?"

"Yes. Sweety. Just like that."

A few seconds pass.

"Like my skin when the lamp is on it?"

"Yes.. Exactly."

A few seconds pass. She is asleep.

People always ask me how to get kids to love reading. The answer is easy. Show them that you love it. Do it. All the time. Get excited about books. I always talk to Kaia about my books. Look at this cover. Look how thick this one is. I love this one. She asks me what they are about. I always tell her. I talk to her about books and stories as if they matter, as if they are the most important things in life.

Because they are.

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