Learning to Love Reading
Photo: Reading can and should be enjoyable
Most of us learned to read as a child. For some it was quite easy and for others it was more difficult, but eventually we learned this skill so that we can function or even enhance our daily lives. But when we learned to read, at least it was the case when I was a grammar school student, we had little choice over what we read so for some reading became a chore and a bit of a challenge. Those of us who had people to introduce us to other material found that reading was not just something you had to do but could become something you couldn’t wait to do.
I recently spent some time with my oldest daughter who is a reading specialist in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas Nevada, and I wish everyone could have a reading teacher like her. She spends lots of time reading middle school books, not the school readers but the popular press books even short stories. Through some magic formula the reading program she uses she is able to calculate the reading level of any book. So she can find books that interest just about any student.
She finds books that address the home life of her students and books that move beyond their home life. She finds books that introduce characters that are just like her students and characters who represent what her students want to become. She finds appropriate teen romance and sports books. She knows just what level the Twilight or Harry Potter series is and she provides skill building exercises and as a reward kids get to read any book in her shelf that is at their level or just bit above. How nice to think that reading a book is a reward not a punishment.
In my family we have lots of librarians who are always making recommendations on what to read. And my mother is retired and an avid reader and always willing to make a suggestion. They know what each of us likes and help us find just the right read for the right occasion. I love mysteries that take place in countries I have been to or would like to visit. And, I love a series so I get to know the characters. I am not always interested in good literature; sometimes I just want a good engaging and exciting read.
Get to know your local librarian if you are not lucky enough to have one in the family. Ask them for help in finding the right books for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to try a few and ask for more help. We don’t have to be reading the classics all the time. And maybe to learn to love reading, something that will serve us well all our lives, we have to start with the high interest material. Become your own reading specialist and librarian. It is worth the effort.