We have a strange habit in this house and its one I’m trying to stop. I’m not sure when it crept up on me, but it’s also a habit that the boy has inherited and it drives me mad. What is it? What is it that’s so bad?
Starting book after book and never finishing them.
I have quite possibly 10 books that I’m somewhere in the process of reading. I justify this to myself by all manner of reasons. Some books are too bulky for the train, so I need to grab a smaller one. I prefer to read on the iPad at night in bed, so the other half isn’t disturbed. There is always a reason/excuse as to why I’ve picked up a new one and not finished the current one. It’s not even as if I don’t enjoy them, I just seem to be really poor at finishing them, and I never use to do it.
I wonder if its partly to do with embracing the joy of new technology. We’ve got so many ways to read or be read to now, and in this house we use them all. We’ve story CD’s, Amazon Audible, Borrowbox, Kindles and iPads all delivering us instant reading pleasure.
Then I wonder if it’s the quantity that are available. If the library ticket says I can have 12 books, you bet I’m going to find 12 to take home.
In fact maybe I’m just greedy for books? The wonder of what lies within, and a thirst for knowledge? Or maybe I just like shiny new books? Either way, I’m hoping that facing up to it will be part of overcoming it.
So I’m going to try really hard to finish my current ten or so, and pick up one at a time from now on.
I can but try!
B and I have loved reading together since he was a few weeks old. From the wonderful That’s Not My Baby/Monster/Dinosaur books, to all the traditional fairy tales, and then the delights of Julia Donaldson. We worked through them all. When B was only 7 months old he could pick out The Gruffalo or The Smartest Giant in Town. He just seemed to have an affinity with books. He taught himself to read with the retro Peter and Jane series. He couldn’t get enough of any kind of book.
And then he stopped. Just like that. This little boy who loved stories, non-fiction, magazines, any form of literature, just stopped. I’m trying to remain relaxed about the whole thing, but it really does concern me. At first I thought it could be a reaction to leaving school. He found working through the book levels at school very repressive. Constantly having to choose from a certain colour coded book, instead of having the freedom to choose a book that sparked his interest really riled him. He’d read the books in the car home almost to prove how quickly he could do it. It stopped becoming a joy, and more of a bind, which can’t be a good thing.
So to rekindle his interest we’ve been on a bit of a mission. From starting a reading diary (not very successful) to logging all the books we do read on Good Reads (slightly more successful). We’ve set up a reading nook in the playhouse in the garden to give us a cosy area to read together (we used it once).
So I stopped. I felt really uncomfortable just letting go, but I knew I had to take a complete step back and let him come back to it in his own way. B still loves a non-fiction book, so I had no qualms that he wouldn’t read at all, I just worried how much pleasure he used to get from books that had gone.
And then the master of story telling, the most amazing author, the one that brought so much delight to my own childhood, the splendid Roald Dahl began to get him back into books. One night the one and only BFG dropped by our house one night with a dream jar. It seemed the only way to rekindle the literary love affair was to bring the books to life. And so for the time being, bedtime is a time for story telling and adventure once more. B’s not reading himself again yet, but his love of stories is on the way back, which is a very good place to start.
We’ll be telling you all about our dream jars adventures soon. Don’t miss it!