Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Hopefully, reading to them starts children off on the path to reading in adulthood. We were only 50% successful in this regard. One of our boys reads incessantly, the other confines his reading to the newspaper and occasional magazines. Why? I can’t tell you — but wish I could. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.
As I got older, the only time I was read to was when I was really ill. That’s how I got my first exposure to a “real” book: Uncle Wiggily in the Country. Even though I only got the story in dribs and drabs doled out when my mom wasn’t busy, I was certainly hooked on reading. Around seven at the time, I certainly had decent reading skills, but it suddenly became important to read books on my own.
From then on, I devoured books. Any spare moments I had, you would find some book or other in my hands, and I read anything that took my fancy. While friends were stuck on comic books, I was reading history or short stories or novels or biographies, anything that caught my interest.
By the time university rolled around, reading has to take a back seat — although I didn’t like that necessity. Sometimes I would sneak in some reading when I should have been doing other more important things. I inevitably paid the price, but I didn’t completely regret what I’d done.
Do I still enjoy being read to? You bet. But now it’s generally audio books (especially on long car trips). If there’s a radio play, I’m first in line to listen. There’s something about a voice (only) telling you a story that brings me great comfort. Perhaps it’s a harkening back to my childhood with my mother’s gentle voice reading me The Jungle Book or Uncle Wiggily stories, but whatever the reason, I love to be read to.
How about you?
And I can’t wait to read Uncle Wiggily and The Jungle Book to my grandson. I just mentioned this to my wife and she told me that my (non-reading) son is already delving in to The Jungle Book with Jackson. Wow! That’s the best news I’ve got in a long time. Maybe we didn’t do so badly — vis-a-vis reading — with our second son after all.