January 26, 2010

A Nation of Readers

That's how my dad once described the British. They read everyday: a book, a newspaper.
My parents were both heavy readers (one of them British!), my brother was too(also British). My grandmother, who's native tongue is Arabic and learned French in school and who didn't learn English until she moved to the US as adult still reads a Danielle Steele book everyday.

I am not a strong reader.

Over the holidays I saw that most of my adult family are everyday readers, some read more than they watch TV!
My wife loves reading, she reads for fun; fiction & non-fiction and is grumpy when she can't. This past summer I got excited over World War Z and read it as fast as I could, it took me 4 days. My wife had never seen me that excited over a book. Kevin finished it in a night.
How did I become such an undedicated reader? It looks like I have always been surrounded by them, encouraged, shown that it was cool, etc.
I just finished reading His Dark Materials. It's a trilogy, they made a movie of The Golden Compass. It's like 900 pages and it took me 6 months to read. That's two months per book, about four times longer than most people. I'm trying very hard to become a strong reader, it's a habit I want my children to have and they're more likely to learn pick it up if they see me doing it.
I try to be my best.


april said...

If I remember right, the main things that lead kids to read are being read to and having books in the house. So maybe you don't have to be a big reader for them to pick it up. You definitely don't need to be a fast reader to read aloud to kids, too.

Anyhow, that's supported by my own experience: I read constantly, my dad reads tons, but my mother was never a great reader. Both my parents read to me a lot & we went to the library & bookstore constantly.

Jay Bazuzi said...

I wonder about this. I enjoy reading, and read pretty quickly. Julie reads about 30% faster than me, and retains way more. She remembers details, and sees how they connect to each other. Her idea of a good time is to read.

She and I learned to read at 4. At 5 we were reading all the time. My 8-year-old is only just now getting comfortable reading. He'll spontaneously read signs and titles in movies. We read to him a lot until he was 4, when the twins were born, and there are lots of books around and lots of people reading. We still read to him every night at bed. But he isn't that eager to read.

Still, it's fine. If I push him, he'll just associate reading with being pressured. I need to give him room to do it for himself.

kevin said...

I don't know if I'm a good person to compare yourself to... you did read WWZ pretty fast. I don't really read at a healthy pace. :/

Maybe this video will explain it better than I can.

Anyway, I think your values are in the right places. fwiw