For the love of reading

I have always loved reading and nowadays I feel sad that I don't have an awful lot of time to indulge in this passion. A great deal of my reading is done online....stolen moments throughout the day to catch up on news, social media or articles that interest me.

Growing up, my bedroom was full of books. I devoured novels such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. I remember reading well into the night, keeping my little red reading light on, just so I could manage a few extra pages before sleep stole me away. 

I have fond memories of the pleasure of reading with my parents. We spent many an evening marvelling at the adventures of The Famous Five and chortling at the hilarious Twits. Reading with my mother and father was such a precious bonding experience and one I will cherish forever. 

As a result, books now play a huge part in our family home. We have shelves stacked with them! Indeed, I have just unearthed a huge collection of books from my childhood, that I am now sharing with my own children. They are delighted to be able to look through Mummy's old books and likewise, I am immensely happy to share them. I felt so much pleasure as I opened up the boxes to re-ignite old memories. 

My sons love reading too. They are both used to our nightly ritual of sharing books and reading material. I adore listening to them read aloud - it is so magical and I feel incredibly privileged that we have so many books we can indulge in. 

They also enjoy reading to their baby sister. She stares intently as they share their stories...her tiny eyes bright with wonder. It is so moving to see Hattie's chubby little hands reach out to grab the pages. 

I firmly believe that an environment rich in text breeds creativity. Reading is, in my opinion, about pleasure. From this grows understanding and an ability to communicate and debate. 

We should be encouraging our children to pick up books as often as possible, to read what interests them and to delight in the written word. Books open up new worlds, they boost confidence and they inspire. If a child loves reading, they will progress naturally. It is through reading that they develop an awareness of syntax and become competent writers. 

Sadly, I think some of the spontaneity of 'picking up a book' has diminished. Schools quite simply don't have as much time to share a story each day due to curriculum constraints. I'd love to see this change. After all, if children only see books as learning material, they will be turned off. 

I haven't meant to be preachy or sentimental in this post but the message I want to leave my readers with is quite simply 'love books.' Do that and your children will follow, I promise!



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