Growing up, my mom was always reading. Always. She went through books like most people go through a bag of M&Ms. Fast. She read voraciously, book after book, in almost any genre…but mostly fiction. Sometimes, my sisters and brother and I (there were six of us) would say, “Mom, you’re *always* reading!” and feel a bit neglected.
Deep down, however, I admired her love of the written language.
And before long…I, too, was reading voraciously, book-after-book, in almost any genre…but mostly non-fiction. I read about how to host parties and how many bones are in the human body (206, in case you’re wondering) and I read about why reading is important.
Even as a little girl, you could find me poring through shelves at the library and then carrying out stacks of books that weighed more than my body weight. I read on my bed and at the park and up in our tree in the backyard…anywhere…except the car (because it made me sick).
Today, I still read a lot…and I aspire to read more. Reading is like traveling – it opens up new possibilities, new ideas, and new opportunities. It helps you to see other cultures, other perspectives, and other paths. Jacqueline Kennedy once said, “There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
I want to be literate, erudite, and bookish because I want those things for my girls too. Numerous studies have shown that one of the best predictors of children succeeding in school is having parents who read to them every day from a very young age. Indeed, I attribute my love of learning and much of my academic aptitude to the fact that I learned to read early and often. I want to give that same gift to my daughters…and what better way to give it to them than by leading with my example?
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