After I graduated from college, it was several years before I picked up a book to read just for fun. I was burned out from reading so much that was required, mostly textbooks that were not usually the most interesting reads.
Besides, I wasn’t raised reading books. In fact when my parents moved out of the house I grew up in, I was surprised to find that there had been a complete set of the Chronicles of Narnia in my home–books that I now love but that I had not heard of until I watched “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” cartoon version on TV as an adult.
Also, I was raised when television was coming into its own. The shows on TV then were clean and child-friendly. We used to watch a lot of television; we would watch together as our family time. (More of my thoughts on television.)
It wasn’t until I started home schooling and began to look for books for my children that I discovered the joy of reading. I had to use bibliographies of recommended books to read at certain ages to help me find appropriate and interesting reading materials for my children. We became frequent visitors of the public library.
During the time my children were growing up, we always had a book we were reading together. We would read all different types of books–sometimes fiction, sometimes nonfiction; sometimes biographies, and history, etc. The kids would take turns reading when they got old enough to participate. In fact, we even had a course in school called “reading and folding clothes”! While one person read, the others sorted and folded clean clothes (of which we seemed to have an unending supply! 😉 ).
In the process of looking for books for my children, I found many that I enjoyed and learned from. I realized after 14 years of home schooling that my love of learning had been rekindled, I think in large part because of the books we read. As I mentioned last week, I never enjoyed history until I understood that history was made of up people. That understanding came from reading books about real people who had really lived and seeing how God had worked in the affairs of men to accomplish His purposes.
Reading books doesn’t seem important in our current culture, with so much emphasis on social media and technology. I often hear that people don’t want to read these days. However, how can we expect to teach our children if reading is not important to us and if we don’t set the example for them?
We love reading at our house! We usually make a trip the library every week, and we bring home stacks of books. It’s amazing what you can learn by reading, even if it’s “just” vocabulary.