I am a second-generation book lover, who inherited a love for all things contemporary from my late mom, who boasted an obsession for writers like Danielle Steel, V.C. Andrews, and Jackie Collins — you know, the classics. But there was no secret my mom had to get your kid to love reading. And aside from the work of Ms. Steel, I have gone on to work on collecting every single books on the other authors' libraries and I am a definite serial repeater. As in, I will read the same book over and over just like I'll watch a movie over and over.
Books have always been super important to me, and I just kind of figured that my kid would carry on the tradition. Never mind that my sister's kid developed a fondness for them and then quickly ditched the idea of reading for fun once she hit puberty. I was pretty hellbent on my own kid being the exception, hopefully growing up into a messy-haired bookworm cutie.
So when my son's 10 month old mark came around and he started identifying the books based on me just reciting a few lines, I was ecstatic. My kid was a genius, and a natural book lover, and better than everyone else's baby! OK, maybe I didn't think that last one, but I probably had plenty of Facebook friends who assumed I did.
Unfortunately, there is no real trick to get your kid to love reading, but if you end up with a book lover who has a natural attraction to stories in written form, then you've got a whole new creative venture to bond over (and luckily, it's one that doesn't include starting at bright, five-inch screens for extended periods of time).
1. "They're Going To Love Writing Too!"
Because the two just go hand-in-hand, right? Right?
2. "I Wonder If They'll Be Reading At An Advanced Level..."
I mean, can you really blame book lovers for wondering/hoping/expecting that their book lover kid will be a super book loving kid?
3. "How Long Until We Can Read 'Harry Potter' Together?"
I, for one, cannot wait to share every single favorite book and book series of mine with my kid. This is really the only question that matters.
4. "OK, And What About 'Hunger Games'?"
That's right, we'll be revisiting all of the young adult dystopian novels, too. This is the second most important question.
5. "Is This A Passing Phase?"
Because, like I said, with the case of my formerly book loving niece, it can change with the drop of a hat. Ugh. Are you committed to the book-loving life, baby?! Are you!?
6. "Please, Do Not Let This Be Any Kind Of Phase."
Again I say, I will not be able to deal if this early book loving turns out to be just a phase that fizzles out before I can introduce my kid to my faves.
7. "I Wonder How Many Other People Have Kids In First Grade Who Can Read Chapter Books?"
You've got to be thinking this at some point, if you've got a kid in lower elementary school who would rather settle down with a book than play tether ball. (Tether ball is still a thing, right?) Anyway, I know these competitive, comparative thoughts aren't...the best. But they happen. They cross your mind, and then you feel guilt, and never tell anyone you were secretly wondering how your junior book reader's skills measure up compared to other kids. It's fine. We can admit it here. This is a safe space, guys.
8. "How Do I Post About This On Facebook In A Humble Brag?"
Because yeah, that's right Facebook feed, you're going to see a lot of my kid's reading progress. So suck it.
9. "I Should Stock Up On Dr. Seuss."
Look, I don't want to be stuck in the past but when it comes to teaching kids to read, what better way have we come up with than the nonsensical but totally fun rhymes of Dr. Seuss?
10. "I Should Stock Up On Dictionaries."
I definitely remember ready as an adolescent and finding plenty of words I didn't know. Even though I probably shouldn't have been reading Jackie Collins anyway. But hey, it helped me grow my vocabulary (in addition to my understanding of many age-inappropriate topics).
11. "I Should Probably Stop Posting About This."
Trust me, I can hover my mouse pointer over the "unfollow" option just as well, so I can definitely appreciate annoying Facebook parents. I know when I'm doing the wrong thing on social media.
12. "Whatever — My Kid Is A Freaking Genius."
Chyeah, duh. I'm just gonna embrace the awesomeness of my book-loving kid.
13. "Wait, Does This Mean They're Done With Bedtime Stories From ME?"
'Cuz, yeah, that part ain't happening.
14. "OK, Screw These Books; My Kid Now Loves Them More Than He Loves Me."
This might not be the final thought when you have a kid who loves books as much as you do, but it has to pop in your head a few times. Especially if you've got an independent toddler who would suddenly rather peruse their book collection alone than with you.