Question: What is your earliest or fondest memory in which someone read aloud to you?
The funny thing is, I don’t ever, ever, ever remember being read to as a child. Like, ever. (Cue Taylor Swift music.) Not by my parents, my three older siblings, or any of my teachers.
The thing was, I was surrounded by books. My mom read all the time. We had tons of books in my house growing up. We went to the Cedar Falls Public Library every. single. week. We subscribed to magazines – I remember Omni and of course Sports Illustrated. I even had magazines, like Penny Power, Teen, and later, Seventeen and Rolling Stone.
So probably my fondest memory of being read to is when I taught my daughters to read and they would read to me.
I mean, seriously, I’m not the worse for wear. I read a lot, always have. And although I know we’re to encourage parents to read to their children, I know that even if a child doesn’t have that, it can be okay. Heck, my husband was never read to and he didn’t have the access to books that I had, and still, he would track down the bookmobile and school librarian to get something to read. I know a mom who read to her kids but told me she’d rather clean her toilet than read a book herself. (Seriously, I know something is wrong with her.) What sort of message did that give? (“Do as I say, not as I do.”)
To me, the order of importance:
- Access to books (a quality school or public library)
- Seeing that reading is important to important people in a child’s life (parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, librarians)
- Having books read to you
A child who gets all three definitely hits the jackpot. But there’s hope for every child with a good school or public library nearby.