Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"You have to LOVE books!"

I took the kids down to the Mall today, mostly because I needed to peel them off the sofa, and it was just too hot to do anything outdoors. We had lunch, browsed a few stores at the Mall, and then made a trip to Barnes and Noble. Safa and Hamza went their separate ways in the bookstore while Bilal and I went to the kids section. True to his nature he started asking for books to buy. All Star Wars books, and all far beyond his reading level. I had to refuse. Don't get me wrong, we don't often refuse to buy the kids books, nor do we stop them try to read books that are much harder than their current reading level. After all, how else will their reading level improve?

But we spend a lot of the time at the library, and all three kids have bookshelves overflowing with books in their rooms. Bilal would ask for any book, as long as the cover had a picture of a Star Wars character on it. The phase is not over. I'm starting to wonder if it's just a phase, or something a little deeper. Star Wars is starting to drive me crazy.

So today I told him, "I'll buy you more books that you choose once you learn to love books." He said, "I like books, I read some with you." But then I explained, "You have to LOVE books, meaning that you want to read books more than you want to watch TV, more than you want to play computer games, or the iPad, or any other screens." So we sat and enjoyed reading a (non-Star Wars) book together and left without buying the one he wanted. A tough parenting lesson, I suppose, but I hope he'll eventually learn to LOVE books someday, like everyone else in the family.

This evening he picked out a picture book that we had checked out from the library. A nice little story called City Dog, Country Dog.

Definitely a little beyond Bilal's current reading level, but we read a page each, and he didn't balk at the long sentences. Typically he'd say, "Mama, that's too many words, can you read that page to me?" But today he eagerly kept reading, and we continued to alternate a page at a time. I helped him with the tricky words and he did remarkably well.

I have a feeling he really understood what we talked about in the bookstore. And with time, he will learn to love books.


Anonymous said...

As an elementary librarian I LOVE this way of thinking!

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