Read to Your Children

And now, a little break from all the diet-exercise-lifestyle change talk.  

I grew up around books.  My dad LOVES books.  In fact, that was one of the points of contention in this whole move–how many books will we move for an 81 year old blind man?  (The answer is 30-40 packing boxes of books.  We love our dad…)

I can still remember my mom and my dad reading our favorite books to us as little kids.  And reading them over and over.  Every night before bedtime.  I remember frequent trips to the library, and joining the library summer reading club, and reading so many books all summer to get all the stickers I could on that card.  I remember Dad reading ‘The Christmas Carol’ out loud to us in front of the fireplace before Christmas.  I remember so many of my favorite books, with characters that I loved, that I would read over and over.  I remember reading so much that my thought process sometimes became book-like.  I would think something as it should be written in a book.

Recently, I remembered a scene in a book.  The scene had touched me deeply–it was about a young girl who had a classmate that was obnoxious and stinky and just not very loveable.  And of course, the young girl did not treat this classmate very nicely at all.  She was actually quite contemptuous of her.  And then the classmate died.  And it was too late to be nice.  I never forgot that scene.  I was telling my sister about it, as I was being a bit unkind about somebody I didn’t like so well, that was now very ill.  And my sister remembered the name of the book.  It was “Up a Road Slowly,” by Irene Hunt, and was a Newberry Award winner back when it was written in 1966.  That means I was probably 12 years old when I read it.  So 40 years later it is still having a positive impact on my life.

I ordered it from Half.com, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it again.  And I was surprised by how much it might have impacted my life in ways I did not realize.  One of the things that I got a chuckle out of was that the girl was raised by her unmarried aunt, whom she described as ‘inflexible.’ I won’t go so far as to say reading this book made me an unmarried inflexible aunt.  I just got a kick out of the similarities….

In our hurried, immediate gratification, visually driven society, I am afraid that the great good that can be gained by reading good books will not be passed on to our children.  I hope you will consider adding this to your children’s schedule, if you are not already doing so.

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6 thoughts on “Read to Your Children

  1. I love, love to read. I was read to as a child and read prodigiously growing up.
    It’s funny how I watch movies that were made from books I have read, and they rarely match up to the movie that played in my brain while reading it!

  2. Oh, that’s me, alright! I LOVE reading, as in, “I LOVE to breathe!” I also love children’s books, so reading to my two is just as much a treat for me as it is for them. They seem to have inherited my love of books…probably because they can get me to drop just about anything else and pay attention to them when they ask, “Will you read me a story?”

  3. I read every Nancy Drew book that was in our library at elementary school. I loved to read as a kid and I still love to read now, even though I don’t have much time for it anymore.

    I read to my kids every night. In fact my two girls can’t sleep at night if they haven’t had a book first, so even if we are all dead tired, I will read at least one short book. My 8 year old is a voracious reader – right now Junie B. Jones rules her world. The 3 year old loves Barbie books – I’m glad she likes them, but if I have to read Barbie and the Diamond Castle one more time, I think I’ll scream!

    Reading to my kids was the one thing that I always wanted to do as a parent and I’m so glad I got at least that one right!!

  4. I’m so glad to hear that people still read to their children. Of course, if I thought about it, I should have known that people who are good writers would enjoy reading.

  5. Oh I love love love love to read. Debby, are you on Goodreads? It’s a neat website.

    Several years ago I volunteered in an elementary school by reading to a third grade classroom. I read The Phantom Tollbooth, The Enormous Egg and the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Perhaps I’ll do that again someday.

    I’ve added Up a Road Slowly to my “to-read” list (400+ books and growing – eek!).

  6. I am so glad that you shared this! I too have always loved books and have not read enough to my 4 children. My oldest child is 8 and youngest 2 so I’ve got plenty of time to make up for it. I think I’ll pack them up right now and head over to the library. Thank you for your inspiring words.

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