Exposure is Everything

November 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My whole life I have been enthralled by the world of books.  As a child, I was an avid reader the school librarian could not keep appeased.  I lived in the worlds of Laura Ingalls, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and more.  Although I went to college to study business, as soon as I was out I sought a position in a bookstore; my dream was to run the literature section, and I did.  I worked there for some years, fully stocked up my home collection, became the inventory manager, but then had a baby and so left the company.

We have 17 overflowing bookshelves in our house and books stacked on every available end table in between.  I have been gathering up children’s titles throughout my pregnancy until now for my daughter, preparing for a lust of the written word comparable to mine.

People keep warning me that she may not want to read, she may not like it like I do.  They keep telling me I cannot force my child to enjoy my hobbies.

I am not forcing her.  I am making the written word available.  She sees books everywhere, she sees people enjoying books everywhere.  In addition to our own collection that we read from every day, we visit the public library for group readings and she sees people outside her family unit gathering to enjoy a book.

My daughter is one year old, and already she often chooses Eric Carle over a stuffed animal.  She brings me Rainbow Fish and expects me to read it aloud while she sorts her blocks.  It seems sometimes as though she is not actually listening, just sorting her belongings, until I stop reading and she looks up and points at the book.  My daughter sorts through her picture books and flips through the pages, she even has her own little cushioned rocking chair she climbs into to do it.  She rocks and pretends to read while I lounge and read in our library in our house.

My daughter loves books, and I am both amazed and proud.  I implore the world to make books available to their children from a young age.  Read aloud to them, they cannot help but be interested and thirsty for stories and knowledge.

Get Your Kid Started!


  1. Nicole said,

    I think about this often, and I don’t even have children yet. What if my child isn’t a reader? One of the things that I’m sure made me the reader I am today (and put me on my entire career path) is the time my father dedicated to reading me a book every night. He says he even did it when I was too little to know what was really going on. He says that whenever he was reading to me, my eyes never left him. He swears that even as an infant, I was listening. Comprehending.

    My parents didn’t read to my sister as much. She reads, but doesn’t love it like I do.

    I can’t wait to dedicate the time to read aloud to my children. And I hope that, whenever I have one, and whenever that number grows from one to two or three, reading can become a group activity. A no-child left behind activity.

    Man, I want to be a mom.

    • anakalianwhims said,

      My sister has six kids and they do a lot of family reading time. My brother-in-law reads a lot aloud at the dinner table when he’s done eating and they have multiple times throughout the day when the older kids will take turns reading to the younger. My sister is legally blind and can read very little for a short period of time so the job gets passed around a lot. But all the kids love it. Many times they just wander into another room and plop down with a book, even the ones that can’t read yet, they just like the ambiance and comfort of going through the motions.

      I have all the Sherlock Holmes and all the Agatha Christie Crime collections and I have a dream of reading a few chapters a night after dinner aloud as a family by the fireplace when Ayla is a little older.

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