The other day I read that children who were read to every day were much, much more likely to do well at school than those who were only exposed to the occasional story. Kids surrounded by stories from a young age had better vocabulary, which meant they were better able to deal with language in the classroom. Makes sense, really!
My parents were, and still are, avid readers. Books were something that were always available in my house, along with trips to the library to discover new stories. I’m sure my love of reading is the result.
In turn, my kids have always been surrounded by books. They have beautiful new books mixed in with copies Hubby and I had from our own childhoods. Megan and Alex both love bedtime stories, and have their favourites that we read over and over again. Last week I bought some discount books to give my students as gifts at the end of the school year, but they were so beautiful that I’ve kept most of them for myself…and Megan and Alex too, I suppose!
Books are like a drug for me. It’s not uncommon for me to disappear into a book and not emerge until it’s done. I can devour novels within a day, often at the expense of housework and feeding my children…lucky their dad is around to manage in my absence!
Though it’s totally antisocial, I truly hope Megan and Alex will develop this ability to immerse themselves in stories, so much so that the outside world fades away around them. To be walking alongside the characters, seeing, feeling, hearing all of the experiences at the same time they do, is a thrill like no other.
Coming out from the world of the story back to reality can be difficult (experienced by me this long weekend) but it’s the gift of a great writer to be able to draw a reader in and keep them in the world they created until the very last page.