Resolution to Raise a Reader

I have long been fascinated with New Year’s resolutions—making them, struggling to achieve them, and ultimately honouring or abandoning them—but recently I had wondered if many parents make resolutions to raise a reader. I discovered numerous articles on the Internet with the phrase “how to raise a reader”, so there is certainly no shortage of advice on the topic, and while much of the advice seemed obvious—“read aloud with your children” or “switch off the television”—other points were not as readily apparent.

The advice that struck a chord with me was simply to “have books ready”, but it would be fascinating to know if most parents carry children’s books on outings, when travelling, or at restaurants. I always make a point of packing a book, or at least a newspaper section or magazine article, because I like to take advantage of opportunities to read whenever possible. Inspiring a child to be a reader for life is no easy task, it requires time and commitment, but having books on hand is essential. I was at a bookstore lecture a few months ago where the presenter made the point that we could all read 1000 books in a lifetime with a small investment of only 15 minutes a day. “Carry a book with you,” he said, “you’ll be surprised how many times in a day you’ll be waiting for a bus or an appointment.”

I would like to offer some unsolicited advice. That is, make books available to children. The books in this issue are readily available at bookstores and libraries. They are lightweight and portable. They fit into backpacks, totes, lunch boxes, and all variety of bags. Bring them with you and put them in the hands of children whenever possible. In doing so, you will be creating a culture of reading, which will do wonders to promote their lifelong interest in books.

Reading opportunities abound, so please seize them and make reading fun for young people everywhere.

As always, please get in touch with me if you have any comments or questions.

Robert Desmarais, Managing Editor