The Joys of Reading?

Chloe and I went to the bookstore yesterday so that she could choose a new series to read to herself.

Her reading skills have exploded over the last few months, to the point where she’s fully capable of reading chapter books that are geared towards older kids. She still needs some help, of course, with pronunciation or definitions, but her progress is really exciting.

After a good amount of browsing the aisles, she decided to give Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” a try. Since yesterday, she’s made it to chapter two, and seems to be enjoying it. She even brought it with her in the car today so that she’d have something to do on the way to the science museum. So far, so good.

Yet despite the positive signs, I’m interested to see whether she’ll finish the book on her own. It’s funny, because when I was a kid, reading was one of my primary activities. Sure, we watched TV, but choices were limited and there was only so much we wanted to watch. And although Chloe is a pretty precocious reader, it’s definitely not the first thing she would choose to do if she had free time. She’d watch TV for hours on end if we’d let her, or play on the computer. Reading is low on the totem pole of her chosen pastimes.

This saddens me. I recounted stories of staying up past midnight as a young adolescent to finish a book. I tried to explain to her why I was so happy that she was reading so well. The idea of being transported to another world, the wonders of using words to tell a story…I hope I’m making a dent in her growing brain.

Fewer and fewer children read today because they have so many other distractions. I just cross my fingers that one day my girls will come to realize that books are more satisfying and more exciting than any TV show or computer game. Fat chance, no?

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