fostering a love of books

My love affair with books has always been a complicated relationship. You see, I am dyslexic and spent most my childhood frustrated and, quite frankly, angry that reading didn't come easy to me. And yet, my mom was a first grade teacher with the most magical reading corner in her classroom. So, both before and after school, I would sit and page through her collection. I would devour the pages looking for meaning, creating my own stories, and admiring the artwork that went into each beautiful page.

By not knowing how to read, I became an author. And, in turn, fell in love with books.

I want to say much more about my journey, there was the time a visiting author at school told me that only excellent readers could become authors. The time I graduated from university at the top of my class . The seven years I spent as a reading specialist helping children, parents, and teachers understand the enormous gift and intelligence that students with dyslexia hold. And how Matilda's liver failure and transplant gave me a new voice and new medium to author this blog.

But the point of this post is to say that surrounding children with all sorts of books will positively impact their relationship with reading, art, creativity, imagination, and whatever else they are drawn to.

My argument for more books and less TV is this: books allow the growth and development of the internal voice to be heard and fostered. And it is through that voice that children can discover who they are, what interests they have, and how to trust their voice and develop self confidence. It is the difference between the teacher who lectures the entire class period and the one who sets up experiments, examples, and discussion.

And just like most things, the younger you start, the better it is. I love taking my kids to the library to pick new books or to the local bookstore for a treat and treasure hunt for a new favorite. And we look forward to getting our Lit Joy Crate every month with a surprise book and goodies from my friends, Alix and Kelly.

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