It's fall and if you're anything like me this weather makes you nostalgic for book fairs. I work at a small college with a big education program - meaning they host a book fair every year for their students and professors to stock up on children's books. When I was in elementary school, Book Fair week was the highlight of the school year. I can recall begging my parents for money the first day those shiny silver cases popped up in the school lobby.
As a small child books thrilled me to no end - I have always loved reading - and yet I cannot tell you why. I just can't recall a time when I would have preferred another activity. Since getting married a few months ago and recently becoming an aunt I've begun to wonder what it is that made me like reading so much. My younger brothers certainly don't have a passion for it, and yet we came from the same two parents. Perhaps it's because I am female, making me less inclined to play video games, but I know plenty of women who like neither activity. And I also know men who like to read, just not my brothers.
I wish I knew, because I want to impart a love of reading on my future children. In the past I never quite realized the magnitude of reading and writing as skills, perhaps because I've always loved both. I read as often as I brush my teeth (twice a day, sometimes three). I also struggle to figure out why people don't like to read. I can certainly see why you'd dislike a particular genre, but there are so many options! Traditional fiction, science fiction, fantasy, history, biography, children's, mystery, horror, romance . . . everyone should be able to find something they love.
Does anyone out there have some advice or perspective on young readers? How do you instill a love of reading when our culture is so full of other distractions and activities, many of which are not "exciting" to children? Perhaps I should work on a list of favorite children's books, maybe then I can squirrel it away for the future.
p.s. Happy Thanksgiving!