Reading. It’s what we’re all here for. All of us book bloggers. Whether we have millions of followers or just a few what we’re really here for is to share our love of books and reading. Yesterday Julie P. at Booking Mama had a guest post by Alison Hart, children and teen books author of Gabriel’s Horses, Whirlwind, and Taking the Reins. In the post she discusses literacy and sites some staggering statistics. Head over to Booking Mama’s blog to read this sad but wonderful post.
I think about reading a lot (duh?). It boggles my mind when I talk to people who don’t read. I find myself thinking, “What do you do with your time”? I can’t understand it, simply can’t comprehend the idea of not reading. My parents were readers. Most the memories I have of my mother are with a book in her hand. I can close my eyes and see a book open on the arm of her chair. My father was always reading and trips to the library were a family event. They never told us to go read or discussed reading with us, they just led by example. Reading was just what you did like eating, sleeping, or breathing. It was the stuff of like.
My husband is a reader too. I can remember when I met him he was reading. As a matter of fact somewhere we still have the copy of Stephen King’s It where he wrote my phone number. So, it was no surprise when my daughter turned out to be a reader. We read to her all the time when she was a baby and little girl. A favorite memory of ours in when our three-year-old little girl would go into her room to “play books”. She would line in books up through out the house and read them one by one. It’s a wonderful sight for me to see my grown daughter with a book in her hand.
You can imagine my dismay when my son turned out not to be a reader. He loved having stories read to him but reading himself never seemed to interest him. When he was in the second grade he was diagnosed with Inattentive type ADD. For him reading was just hard. The concentration it took simply to read made getting into a story very hard for him. Through work and medication we were able to make schoolwork and reading easier for him but I think he missed the reading bug by then. My husband and I didn’t know what to do. We didn’t want him to miss out on the joy of reading but we didn’t want to make if a chore or a punishment. School would require X-amount of time each night spent reading and we would enforce that rule. Reading time was never a happy time for my son and it broke my heart. This thing I loved so much was a burden to my boy.
Then, this summer something wonderful happened. Over the years we would try every genre of book there was. We had some success with comic books and graphic novels but nothing took off. Last June, at the start of summer vacation my husband gave our son a copy of Isaac Asimov’s Robot City and something took off. He read the next two in the series in record time and moved on to more science fiction. Over this past summer my non-reading teenage boy read six full novels. This was the miracle I’ve been waiting for. I’m misting up a little just writing about it. Will my son be as avid a reader as my daughter or myself? I don’t know. I hope so, but if he doesn’t I’m okay with it as long as he reads and enjoys.
The gentle, but hard work we put in to get my son to read makes Ms. Hart’s post all the more heartbreaking to me. I don’t know where the solutions lie. But, I don’t want this to be a post on the sad state of reading in our country because my boy read six books this summer and has one open on his desk right now. I thankful for finding book blogging and all the wonderful bloggers out there who love books as much (if not more) than I do and introducing me to more great books and writers.