When I was small I was the type of child that used to sit on my bed for hours on end and read. I had my parents thwarted, I’d hide my reading material under the covers and I knew how to open the door a crack so that the light would shine on my bed, just so, and I could see the print on the page.
You could say that reading became my addiction. I began to naturally speed-read. I could rent 3 books a week on my library rental card and used to make the journey twice a week at least. Sometimes Mam would lend me hers just to feed my appetite to just read.
I remember once I started The Lord Of The Rings at the age of 10, I couldn’t put it down and I finished the entire trilogy in the space of 3 days. I had to do double chores to catch up on all the jobs I’d been shirking for that accomplishment but it was worth it.
As a family we’ve always read books. Now that the 5 year old has started school in our second language (Gaeilge/Irish language) we just read. I read in Irish to the boys, picture books mainly, and their Dad reads to them in English.
Reassuringly, the teachers say that no matter what language we read to the boys, we are still building on their literacy for the future.
Tonight himself finished reading the first Harry Potter book to the 5 year old.
They had started reading it together a couple of months ago. Attention span for both hasn’t been great at times. It is hard to read together when there is a bed to be jumped on or Skylanders to be discussed (Skylanders are a serious business).
It has been brilliant bonding. The little man begs to be read to in the evenings before bed and it’s a great way to wind down together. It sparks his imagination, it’s something to look forward to and his eyes shone bright as he went to bed this evening. Even though I love to read to him myself, apparently I’m no good at Harry Potter books. They are reserved for Daddy only.
What I’m saying is just read. Read for yourself, read for your kids, read as a family. Open imaginations, close doors on the bad stuff and escape.