Read Read Read

It is not possible to be a part of any community and not hear this battle cry: Read to your kids! Every day! Seriously, did you know that they are going to add "Do you like to read?" and "Does anyone read to you?" as part of the well-child exam? It's THAT big. It seems just crazy to me-- another fine example of what for years just seemed to be common sense is now pushed, pushed, and pushed some more. I can only lament about it because...well...I read. I don't remember my parents ever pushing me. My parents were always readers, though. We still have stacks of every Louis L'Amour book ever written. Sadly, I admit to a pile of Sweet Valley High and Danielle Steele paperbacks that used to crowd my room. They did nothing for my ACT scores, but I quickly became the consultant in sorting out love triangles so it wasn't a total loss. I remember always reading yet still getting stuck in the average reading group. Back then, life was color-coded so you knew who the smart people were by how quickly they acended to purple and gray. Slackers like myself hung out in the orange area a bit too long. If there were just a few more passages that read more like Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? or Wifey and less like an encyclopedia, I would have been more motivated. At any rate, my point is that it wasn't pushed so much, but I lived in a house of readers. The statistics about poor readers and the long-term effects are frightening. I have to keep reminding myself that in this lovely little literate cacoon I live in, it's not so lovely for others. My house is full of books and compulsive readers yet clearly we aren't the norm. With the library throwing what really amounts to a pep fest for summer reading and the schools throwing pajama parties to encourage parents and kids to read- well, the problem is bigger in scope than I thought. Which leads me to how much we all take things for granted. I did not grow up in the most sophisticated of families, but who knew Louis and Danielle would be resposible for leading me and my family into the realm of above average--at least as far as reading is concerned? Mom and dad, thanks.

1 comment:

  1. A few years ago growing up in a rural back water we had a Bookmobile (for modern/city folks a converted school bus which carried library books) which came every two weeks (as a kid I was only allowed to take out books under The Yellow Line). The effort to get us to read over the summer was called 'Bud the Spud Reading Club'. I don't recall the number of books needed to get in but once the magic number was reached one got ... wait for it... a button and a certificate.

    Jim

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