Musing,  Parenting

Just Read

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.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • The Dublin Diary

    Great post Caítríona. Children who don’t read or aren’t read to are at a huge disadvantage, I’ve witnessed this first hand. It’s SO important.

    I used to read in bed at night too just as you described, my parents would freak out when they caught me “you’ll destroy your eyes” was the usual threat!

  • magdascauldron

    That’s so true. I loved when my parents read to me, but they stopped once I learnt to read myself. Everybody in my family was reading. My best friend family had never had tv, so they read at loud, they read Lord of the rings at least a few times. I wish I could be there.
    I’m back to reading. It’s easy to forget what a joy.

  • Ken McGuire

    I don’t get to do it too often myself, but when I spend time with a book, I’m absolutely lost with it. Much as I love tablets, ebooks and all things digital, if I ever come to having kids of my own, they’ll live in a house filled with books. An absolute must for the imagination 🙂

  • Carol Downey Muldoon

    I’m with ya on the reading to kids from an early age. We even have books in the loo (sometimes it’s a long process) It sets them up for life and fuels their imagination :0)

  • Elizabeth MacDonnell

    Brilliant advice, I love to read and love reading to my children. When I was younger my sister used to his my books just so I would play with her!! A love of reading is an amazing gift to give a child and fantastic company for any adult

  • Maud

    Yes, yes, always. My reluctant reader, who is 7, has always loved being read to. He’ll listen to anything, it seems, no matter how arcane the subject matter, if you’re reading it to him. His father is on the fourth book of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with him (with a few alterations when profanity or sex come up too obviously; the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6 may have been given a new description, for example). But his attention span and his comprehension – not to mention his vocabulary – all benefit from the reading, even when he’s not doing it himself.

    • Wholesome Ireland

      I love your book choice! We are working on a combination of book 2 of the Harry Potter series, skylanders manuals and falling back to Irish language picture books now. Love reading!

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