I think I learned to read by osmosis – the same way I learned to speak. While acknowledging that my first teachers – and possibly my parents – had something to do with it, I cannot remember a time when I didn’t read. And, to me reading quickly became a real joy. And it remains so.
THE JOY OF READING.
I often preach to new parents about the importance of reading to their children from as early age as possible – that is, as soon as a parent is able to hold a baby AND a book at the same time.
Yes, I know that a tiny baby will not comprehend a story plot but he/she will soon become used to the pleasurable experience of books and reading; he/she will associate books with happy times of contentment – as well as amusement.
The best books to start with are those that are small yet sturdy; books with simple illustrations and simple words – usually no more than five or six words to a page. Some of the best are those created by Sandra Boynton, but there are plenty of other suitable small books for reading to babies, toddlers and small children in general, but they’re sometimes hard to find.
And, here lies my gripe for the day:
What is it with ‘popular’ books produced en masse to match current movies?
It is surely adults who are lured (sucked in!) to buy the latest mass-produced showy books related to the likes of the movies “Frozen”, “Trolls” and “Minions” and their ilk. But why does that happen? Why do people buy them? Beats me!
Those books are rubbish as far as encouraging small children to find the joy of reading. They are worthless as literary nourishment, usually poor quality and of little or no aid to reading.
It’s a sad reflection on society when good books with the possibility of bringing life-long joy to children are superseded by trashy ‘popular’ (read, money-making) pap.
Reading – whether for accumulation of knowledge, for widening of outlook or (the best of all) for simple enjoyment is something we can all benefit from. To encourage reading – and I mean quality reading – in our children is a more than worthwhile aim for anyone and everyone.
I could go on here also about small children’s relationship with iPads and iPhones as entertainment that may – or may not – replace reading experiences. But that would start another rant.
Incidentally, curling up with a real book is a pleasurable experience not to be found using a screen.
Think about all this and please don’t let our newest generations miss out on the joy of reading.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.