If anyone goes looking for me, I will not be found in front of a TV. I will be found with my nose in a book. Naturally I’ve raised bookworms who don’t care a fig for popular television shows but can quote the New York Times best-seller list. Here’s how.
When I was a kid, I read. Good books, bad books, banned books, best-sellers, books that were too mature for me (Helter Skelter at age 12), series books, fiction, non-fiction, librarian picks, required books, non-required books, textbooks…I am moved to tears, righteous anger, fear, exultation much more by books that any type of media (with the possible exception of music).
My husband is a bookworm also. You know how people have debts to pay off before they get married? His debt was library overdue fines. Our walls are linted with books and bookshelves. We keep books in the car, near the toilet, under the bed, next to the bed, on every end table and coffee table. We all visit second hand books stores religiously. Our children learned to read because mom and dad would fall asleep reading aloud their bedtime stories and they wanted to find out what happened. Our daughter used to hide under the covers with a book, long after she was supposed to be asleep. I give books as gifts. I review books. Our favorite hang-out is our local library.
Here is on tip I’ve learned about kids, reading and raising kids who love to read. Beware of book censorship. It can have an adverse effect to the one you aim for as a parent. If you make your children read only ‘parental-approved’ books, ‘Christian’ books, books you like, books you think are safe or healthy, be prepared for two things to happen.
First, (and this is the least of my worries) your children will sneak and read every book and book genre you contraband. I had to tread carefully with R.L.Stine and the Goosebumps series (and ensuing parodies and copycat books). My objection to Goosebumps is that the stories are brain-numbing, foetid bilge-water that waste mental energy. Knowing that kids gravitate to what parents forbid, I had to mince my words and avoid making unequivocal statements that may drive my children into R.L.Stein’s arms. Fortunately, my kids are far too discerning to fall into any cult mentality in literature. Their brain cells escaped, unscathed by Goosebumps cant.
Second, and this is my biggest fear with book banning and parental censorship, kids will grow up apathetic to books and literature. Reading will be a chore and a bore, rather than a carnal delight. If you fear that your kids may read something that may shake their faith, consider this. A faith shaken is a faith explored and often embraced in a whole new way. For more on books, education and parenting, check out my attached blog links.