Jene and I both love books. I feel hesitant and guilty to say that I do, because I haven’t actually read a whole book in… *cougheighteenmonthscough*. The fact that that makes me sad, and that I am still adding to my list of Books To Read One Day reassures me slightly that I haven’t lost the spark completely. I just need to stop being intellectually lazy.
We would own many, many more books if Australia didn’t have ridiculously inflated prices and a simple paperback didn’t cost $25, although since we found The Book Depository, the collection is growing again. (Jene’s collection, mainly, since he’s the one still doing the reading.)
I recognise the importance and joy of books, but I am really not concerned that Devin isn’t interested in books yet.
I think it’s great that parents introduce their children to books so early, but it tends to create panic in some people when their 10 month old won’t sit and listen to a story, and would rather rip the book than look at it. “How do I get my baby to read with me?!” come the frantic cries over parenting forums.
The oft-repeated advice is to just keep reading out loud, even if the baby isn’t actively sitting and reading with you. And that’s good. Jene sometimes reads aloud to Devin from the books he’s reading, while Devin runs around doing his own thing.
When I used to try and read to Devin, though, all he wanted to do was flip and tear the pages, and grab the book from my hands and throw it dramatically on the floor. Yeah, try reading aloud to your kid when it’s impossible to keep anything in your hands.
He just wasn’t interested in the stories or pictures, and I wasn’t worried, because he was a baby, and there was still plenty of time to instil an appreciation of books.
Lately, he has become slightly more interested. He has easy access to his board books, and he has started to pick them out and bring them to us to read. At the moment it’s mainly just the first words books, nothing with a story. But that’s ok. His paper books are up higher so he’s not so tempted to pull them down and tear them apart. (Because he will do that.)
His favourite part is still turning the pages, but now the pauses are longer so that I at least have a chance of reading and pointing out what’s on the page. Sometimes, he even sits on the floor in front of me, and just watches. Sometimes.
He’s still only 14 months old. There will always be books around the house, and we will always buy books for him, and we will always try to read to him, but I’m not going to force it. I guess I’m kind of thinking that he might inherit the interest from us, in much the same way that I’ve always assumed that he’ll like a wide variety of music.