I am now writing in the library while my kids, 8 and 6, are going crazy over the books that they can borrow.
They love books and take very good care of them, but their appetite to read is insatiable that if I were to buy every book that they fancied, we would quickly run out of space.
Instead we go to a public library to stock up on books. I direct them to the children’s area, and recently, to the graphic novels section for their book selection; I do not discourage them from reading books that are thick or have no pictures.
They choose books they can read by themselves, books that they want to be read aloud to them, and even books that are way too easy for them.
It amazes me that they honestly derive pleasure from reading books because I was never that kind of a reader. When I was in school, most of the books I read were assigned readings.
My children love reading books now because I made a conscious effort to promote reading. My husband and I were determined to cultivate their love for reading.
Here are the reading strategies that worked for my family, I hope you will find them helpful:
1. Start reading early and read often. Yes, even if it is the same book over and over again (and, even if you think the child is not understanding the story).
2. Spend time in libraries. Borrow books that you think would interest them. Do not veto a book just because you think it is too thick or too hard to understand. Look for books with topics that appeal to them.
3. Give books as prizes. It shows how much you, the parent, value reading.
4. Model reading. A grown up has to model reading (in our case, my husband did).
5. Limit screen time. Regulate watching TV and playing with video games. And always have an abundant supply of books—chapter books, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, mystery, science, comics, etc.
6. Listen to audio books.