Thursday, May 20, 2010

What are you reading?

I am married to a man who does not read for pleasure.  In the nearly 11 years that we have been married I have only ever seen him read one book and that was the time I forced him to read Angela's Ashes.  He liked it and I hoped that might get him to read other books as well but it just didn't stick.  Other than sports and computer magazines he gets, he just doesn't read.  I don't get it.

My kids are both big readers.  Joseph will sit and read for hours at a time.  Any time he goes anywhere he brings a book with him.  The last time he was tested at school he was reading at an 8th grade level.  The kid devours pretty much any kind of book we give him.  Chapter books, joke books, biographies, short stories, history books, coffee table books and his all time favorite, video game guides.  He loves them all.  I love that he loves to read.

Elle can't read many things yet but she really enjoys looking at books.  She has several of her favorites memorized so sometimes she'll "read" them to herself or to her dolls.  She no longer naps but some days when she's feeling sleepy she'll tell me she needs to lay down and read for a little while.  It makes me so happy to see that I'm raising another budding reader.

I think one reason both the kids like to read so much is that we've always read to them.  Even when they were babies we read them bedtime stories.  Joseph can read better than some adults but we still read to him at night.  I don't know when that will stop but I don't think it will be any time soon.  To me, reading to your children is just a basic part of being a parent.  You feed them, you clothe them, you make sure that when they leave the house they don't have food all over their face (sometimes) and you read to them.  It's just not an optional thing.

I was read to a lot as a kid.  One of my favorite childhood memories is resting against my mom as she read the Little House books to me and my brother.  (Books just sound better when you're listening to them with your ear pressed up against the reader's chest.)  I grew up seeing both my parents read and we always had stacks of library books around the house.  I don't remember being told "no" if I ever asked for a new book.  We ordered copiously from school book orders and book fairs.  Reading was an important part of my childhood.

I still love to read.  A good book is one of life's great pleasures.  I like to read in the bathtub but I've fallen asleep and dropped my book into the water more times than I care to admit.  I never mind plane trips or long waits at the doctor's office as long as I have a book with me.  I'm always glad to have a little time to sit down and read.

How about you?  Do you like to read?  Do you have favorite type of book? Can you recommend something good for me to purchase on my nook?  What have you read lately that you loved?  Or what's an old favorite that you love to read over and over again?  And finally, do you think there's any way that I can get Jesse to like reading?

One year ago today I had underwear in my fruit basket.
Two years ago today Joseph tried to raise his eye brows.


susan said...

My husband and I are both big readers. I was just thinking the other day that I can't wait until Soren's old enough that we can start reading longer books at bedtime, a chapter a night or something like that. I have such fond memories of doing that with my parents.

Have you read any Bill Bryson? I can recommend just about anything he's written. As for fiction, Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn definitely qualifies as one of those "old favorites" I could read over and over.

Anonymous said...

Jen, Jesse was read to every night when he was a child. I have talked to him about reading books as an adult, and he said that he just doesn't have time to get into a book of his own. What he has time for is magazines. And I know that he reads to Joseph most nights, so he is reading books with his son. It's not that Jesse doesn't like reading, he just feels that right now he doesn't have much time to really get into a book. He does have a busy schedule. Maybe he will read the Pacific Book I got him for Easter. He did say he wanted it, so maybe he will start reading that. And I am with you, I love reading books! And I am so happy my grandchildren love books, and I am always happy to buy them books. My Dad is also an avid reader, and I remember when I was a little girl he would read his book laying on the couch after supper. As you can tell by looking at my house, I am a book junkie!! I will do what I can to get Jesse addicted, too!! Love to all of you... Grandma Judy

Marinka said...

I do love to read, but I find that blogging (and reading blogs) has taken the time that I used to devote to it. My kids do love reading once they get into it, but it's not their first choice. Electronics are easier, more accessible, etc. It worries me.

Sara said...

I love to read and so do my older daughters. I have a kindle, my 11 year old has a kindle. I don't know how I lived without one.

Anonymous said...

I agree that reading is pretty much a basic part of parenting. Sadly, I haven't read a book of my own in maybe eight months. But I am determined to change that soon.

birrie said...

My fave book to read every few years is "The Gastronomical Me" by MFK Fisher. I also pick any random Milan Kundera book to reread about once a year. My current favorite new (to me) read is "The Sacred Depths of Nature" by Ursula Goodenough. It came out in 1989, and apparently made a bit of a splash, but I wasn't hip. She is amazing, and everyone should read this book. Seriously.

Unemployed in PDX said...

reading was a very important part of my childhood too. i could not wait for college to end so i could read what i wanted instead of from a reading list. it is bizarre to me that some people just don't like reading. my boss is a huge Harry Potter MOVIE fan and he can't wait until the last movie comes out to see how it all ends. perplexing that he wouldn't just read the book instead of waiting until next summer, 3 YEARS after the book came out. what a freak.

some of my favorites include:

A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius - Dave Eggers
A Prayer for Own Meany - John Irving
A Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood
Extremely Close & Incredibly Fast- Jonathan Safran Foer
Still Life with Woodpecker - Tom Robbins
The Ground Beneath Her Feet - Salman Rushdie
The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb
She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb

and Harry Potter...

Unemployed in PDX said...

by the way - the last comment was from Micah... last summer, when i was laid off, i decided i'd try blogging. i created the blog, and wrote ONE entry. how about them apples...