For the Love of Reading

10 Apr

I love reading.  This love was surely passed down as my mother also loves reading. However, when I was growing up, I dreaded when my mom was engaged with a book..  No, I did not begrudge her having some me time.  However, my mother had a hard time saying no to books.  Dinner would be late, homework help not forthcoming, clothes not laundered and the bathroom door was locked for long periods when my mother absorbed her latest read..  Yes, she loved to escape into a book.

My wife started reading to our children when they were only weeks old, and both our children love reading as well.  My older son, in particular, is an avid reader. It is a pleasure to hear him read as he reads with great expression.  My wife will read with him before bed and when she leaves, he will continue on his own.  While he and I are pals, he doesn’t like to have me put him to bed. “He always falls asleep,’ he complains.  I’d like to argue with him, but he is correct. I rarely finish even one book or chapter before falling asleep. So, when I put him to bed, he gets cheated out of his reading time.
I recently took my children to the library.  The local libraries are very good and often serve as a destination for my family and I. They have toys for the children to play with and of course, they fit into the budget.  Anyway, on this recent trip while the boys were playing at a train table, I picked out books for them. Between my love of reading and being an English teacher, I put a lot into the selection process.  I want the books to be challenging, fun, and include lessons or morals.  I know that is a lot to ask for, but I am talking about an ideal. Generally, I flip through the books read a couple of pages and if they seem good, I will pick them out. Ultimately, I want the children to enjoy the books in order to enhance their love of reading. I look at this process as an investment in their future – reading will help them in so many ways as they get older.  Anyway, while scanning the shelves, I came across an author, Matt Christopher.  
I think I was one of the few third graders who actually had a favorite author and that author was Matt Christopher.  Truth be told, he may have been the only author whose name I knew, but that is besides the point. His books were simple: boys and sports and a moral makes three. I loved reading his books!  So, when I saw a stack of Mr. Chrisopher’s books on the shelf, I had to get one. I ended up getting his first kids book – The Lucky Baseball Bat which came out in 1954.  After two readings my son and I are up to chapter 10.  I have not fallen asleep while reading – yes, I am proud. 
It is already clear that my sons have the love of reading.  The fact that we are reading a book that I read as a child – well, that makes me smile. Now, I just have to make sure I still get dinner ready on time.

Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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12 responses to “For the Love of Reading

  1. Frank Garcia

    April 10, 2012 at 5:33 am

    The world needs more parents with this outlook!
    I need to look up this Christopher fellow…

    • memyselfandkids

      April 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

      Thanks. Matt Christopher is the man! It is amazing how many kids appreciated and still appreciate his writing.

  2. patgarcia

    April 10, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Good morning,
    Great story. Your stories always make me chuckle.
    By the way, forgetting everything when you are reading is a habit of all who love to read. I am the same way. If I start reading a book in the morning, strange things happen because the day disappears. When I stop reading it is dark and have no idea how the day went so quickly.
    Have a nice day.

    • memyselfandkids

      April 11, 2012 at 2:38 am

      Thanks so much for your response. I love to make people laugh! It sounds like you dissapear into books as well. It is time well spent.

  3. rachstick

    April 11, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Reblogged this on rachstick.

  4. linneann

    April 12, 2012 at 3:17 am

    The portrayal of your mom? It’s exactly why I have not read or written until recently for the last twenty years. I knew I could not “mother” and read/write at the same time. It’s a sweet picture of your mom.

    • memyselfandkids

      April 12, 2012 at 3:21 am

      Thanks. As I look back on it, her reading back on it, her reading set a good example for me. In terms of the mothering part – well, she was there most of the time. I am fortunate on that front.

  5. Daron Henson

    April 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    @ Larry – I read a couple of your posts, “Commercial, Free Please!” and “For the love of reading.”
    I enjoyed them both. I particularly like how you encourage your kids to partake in the wonderful world of intellect and reading. The ideas that are available liberate the mind.

  6. I'm taking a nap

    May 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Have you read “Moon Over Tennessee: A Boy’s Civil War Journal” and if so, what do you think of it for a 12 year old?

  7. peters154

    May 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Nice to know there are fellow reader out there! My wife and I counted our books a few years ago – we stopped counting at 2 thousand. So now that we have a kid, what does my 2 year old son want for his birthday? “More Books Dada!”

    • memyselfandkids

      May 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      That’s awesome! I think for turning 3, you wil have to buy him a book case.


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