I am proud to say that my kids love books. I used to worry that I would somehow fail to pass on my love of reading to them when, as babies, they preferred to sit on or chew books rather than look at them. All the parenting books and the commercials on PBS Kids were telling me that I needed to be reading to my kids for 30 minutes a day. I just hoped that somehow the magic of reading was being absorbed osmotically as they teethed away on Are You My Mother? Yesterday I walked in on the above scenario and was so proud that Emma was passing on her love of reading to the Bitty Twins. Charlie went to sleep reading Go Dog Go the other night. He was lying on his tummy, his footed-jammie feet crossed in the air, holding a flashlight and studying the pages. Scenes like that make my heart melt. I'm sure people who are good at sports probably get that feeling when they see their preschooler throw a ball or make a slam dunk or whatever it is you do in sports. I get that feeling when I see my kids reading. I can't wait for them to decode the mysterious markings on the pages and figure out how all those black lines create whole worlds for them to explore. Then they will really be hooked.
I have to admit, while I love to read, I'm a terrifically slow reader. Since kids have come into my life I am like beyond slow. I think it's because I read like a writer, or maybe more like an English teacher...reading every sentence as though I wrote it, questioning punctuation and tense along the way. I've never been one of those people who can just breeze through a book, put it down and have no idea what happened. I unwrap each sentence like it's a little gift from the author to me. This is great and all, but it is not great for getting through books while kids are fake skateboarding and having princess weddings around you. I generally only get the time to read after kids have gone to bed in the hour or two I have to myself which is also the allotted time slot for watching TV with Brandon, talking to Brandon, cleaning up the most offensive areas of our house, catching up on emails, writing my blog, writing my novel, and staring at a blank wall while no one talks to me or asks me for milk. I am an introvert and I need my staring at a blank wall time or I get cranky.
So, anyway, this is my elaborate, guilty way of telling you that I have barely read any of Atonement. I fully intend to read it, but poor Atonement has been having to wait in line behind my reading of other things, like my writing group buddy Brooke's fabulous manuscript, a book called Letter from Point Clear (which I recommend), and now the latest tool of procrastination has been Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes, which is a very fast (even for me) read about new motherhood. I am reading it ostensibly to get ideas for my own writing, but really I'm reading it because I just love the Mom/chick lit genre. I'm not ashamed to admit it. So, anyway, poor little Ian McEwan has been patiently waiting in line and his turn is coming, but I think I need some kind of a deadline to help me. When should we schedule our little book discussion? Want to say six weeks from now? That would be April 26thish. Sound good?
If you're looking for new books for your kids to read, here's a cool tool from Scholastic...Write in a title of a book that your kids are currently loving and then click on the Bookalike button and it will find similar books at the same reading level. For example I typed in "Thomas the Tank Engine" and here's what it came up with. Pretty neat.