Home Family Art Homemade Frugal Living Travel

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Voraciously Reading Children

I don't read to my kids.  One time, I tried, I got 3/4 of the way through my favorite book as a kid, "Treasures of the Snow", when the oldest was in grade school and the youngest a baby.  I don't think anyone retained anything but it haunts me that I never finished that book with my kids.  After a time, it was impossible to go back without starting over.  I finally realized, I'm not meant to read to my kids.

I see other parents rapturously extoling the virtues of reading to their kids.  Look at my darlings read, they crow, with a sanctimonious hand over the heart, and it's all due to the fact that we read to them as they were young.

Well, mine turned out just fine.  Perhaps a little too fine.  Obsessive to the point of writhing around in sheer utter agony when they do not have a book in hand.  Oh the drama, had I only read to them as children how much worse would it be?

My 4th child, who is now 7, is in love with the Kingdom of Wrenly series.  As a gift, before our Montana trip, I bought books 9 and 10.  To her sheer horror, book 9 has pages 67 - 79 cropped due to printing error so she's unable to read the story in it's complete and utter glory.  I've been reminded continuously to replace the book to the point of finally writing to Thriftbooks and alerting them to the dire situation.  I'm grateful to them for sending a replacement copy.

My 3rd child, who is now 10, is hooked on the Wings of Fire series, as is her oldest sister who got all the books for Christmas last year but refuses to let her sister borrow them.  So, while in Montana, she begged to spend her chore money to buy the digital version of book 6.

My 2nd child, who is now 12, is probably the most addicted to reading but doesn't quite realize his ability to absorb mass quantities of data in a short period of time.  Prior to the one month trip, I noticed he'd begun re-reading the Harry Potter series and helpfully suggested he take all the books.  We had room in the book box, it was only half full, he said no need.  One week into the trip and he was found listless and brokenhearted, having read every single one of his books with three weeks to go.  We scoured the local thrift stores of Polson, MT and nearby towns to no avail, surprisingly there were no bookstores.  Either no children live in that area, or they don't read books, or maybe they do and never let them go.  Just as he believed all hope was lost, we remembered that our local library offers books on an app called Hoopla, and all Harry Potter books were available.  Now he could combine his two loves, iPhone and reading and be able to do both outside of phone time.  Since we've returned he's gone through the Fablehaven books 1-3 in less than a week and was stopped only due to the fact that the library hasn't located book 4 yet.

My 1st child, who is now 14, reads at more leisurely pace than 2nd, but is also lost without 5-6 books in rotation at any given time.  She's currently reading the Aru Shah, White Bird the graphic novel, has a dog book from her birthday, and has developed a love for WWII stories.  

One of the many hurdles with VRC's (Voraciously Reading Children) is not only keeping them in books but resolving the squabbles that occur when more than one passionately loves the same series.  Who gets to read the new release first?  Should every reader have the entire series in their room?  Convincing those who are adrift when their series ends to try something new.

I grew up with two brothers and I don't think we read the same book unless it was mandated by school.  Oldest read Hardy Boys, I read Nancy Drew.  Youngest didn't like reading.  We literally never had these problems.

Perhaps the solution lies with not buying any more books?  Let all books be library check outs!  To which the two oldest, who have managed to find this blog and actually read it shall now end this post by screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO while I laugh manically in the background.

Finally, if you are still reading, and have the sudden urge to come and interrogate me on not buying any more books, there will be a quiz on some of the random words used here today.  Unless you've grown up and can now afford to buy your own books, carry on, and hopefully you have better luck with your children.  

No comments: