Sunday, October 7, 2018

Reading (Paper) Books

A picture the 5yrold took from a Plants Vs. Zombies book
As you might have guessed, I like books. Even though my career as a primarily online writing teacher takes place on the computer screen, or perhaps because of that, I prefer paper books. I like to hold the book in my hand, turn the pages, make notes, and even just carry it around. I like to look at the books on our bookshelves and think about the books I've read and the ones my family has read. 

Sure, I've read some books on the Kindle app on my phone, especially since they are easier to carry on vacation. I can't say that I really enjoyed reading the books like that. 

Our child likes to hold his books, rearrange them on the shelves, sometimes put them out on the table to "play library" and make recommendations to us. The best part recently has been when he takes "grown-up" books off the shelf and looks at them. For a while, he was pulling down comic books and looking at them. Last week he noticed that we have cookbooks with pictures and recipes we could try. Sometimes he notices the art books and flips through the pages. 

Having physical books around make a difference for us and our child. In the New York Times Article, "Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves," Teddy Wayne writes, "Were I a teenager in 2015, I may not have found “Lovely Rita” or acquired an early taste at all for the Liverpudlian lads. The albums stacked up next to the record player, in plain sight for years, would be invisible MP3s on a computer or phone that I didn’t own. Their proximal existence could have been altogether unknown to me." Replace the albums for books and this is what we hope to offer to our child.

We read regularly to our child, sometimes choosing the books for him and mostly letting him choose the books. Since he's five, it is hard to model reading, at least serious reading, in such a way that he can watch us read. But he clearly likes his books and we enjoy reading with him. Sometimes we can read a page or two of our own books together. One day we'll be able to read much more. 

His favorite series right now is Plants Vs. Zombies. I honestly find them hard to read and follow, but he loves them. He'll look at the pages himself, ask us to read them, and then he takes pictures of the pages, acts them out and draws some of the characters and new scenes. Since we're in the camp that any reading is good reading, we encourage this by taking the these books out of the library.

If you're looking for recommendations, you might follow me on Goodreads or visit your local, independent bookstore or library. A Mighty Girl has great kids' books recommendations and Common Sense Media is also helpful. 

Do you read paper or e-books? Share your thoughts in the comments section. 

More on reading paper books and keeping books at home: 







Tuesday, October 2, 2018

ICYI: The Birthday Tradition That Costs Nothing, But Means Everything


Thanks to Scary Mommy for publishing my piece, "The Birthday Tradition That Costs Nothing, But Means Everything." For five years now, we've been keeping a birthday letter throughout the year for our son. We write down not only the places we go and the things we do, but also funny things he says, what he's interested in and more.

Click through to read the whole piece.