I want to be...Well-Read

I want to be...Well-Read 1Growing 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?

P.S. Right now, I'm reading "The Shack" by William P. Young and "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. What are you reading?

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30 comments on “I want to be...Well-Read”

  1. I actually learned how to read upside-down when I was in fifth grade. It was the only way I could keep reading my fiction (under the desk) in class as the teacher taught...well, whatever they were teaching...

    Go figure: avid reader, English major, etc. goes and marries a man who was taught that to read in company was rude. Go figure.

  2. I LOVE to read but find that having three kids cuts into my leisure time a little :) I am in a book club though and so I make sure to read at least that book every month. Last month we read The Same Kind of Different As Me. Highly recommend it. Other recent read is The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns, president of World Vision. I am more of a fiction fan but these two books were both compelling and thought-provoking reads.

  3. I have such a love for reading as well (mostly fiction, like your mom) and I'm so sad that I haven't done much of it lately. My baby girl, almost 9 mos, has only just recently started sleeping through the night--which is a huge improvement from being up 3 or 4 times a night. Before then I desperately tried to grab any second of shut eye I could get.

    But we're going on a few weeks of her sleeping 12 hours straight so, really, I have no excuses now.

    I'm currently in the midst of "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle."

  4. I have always been a voracious reader (since I was three, says my mom) but I must admit that motherhood has slowed me down. I'm the kind of person who has to read something from beginning to end- I hate reading a chapter here or there- so for now I tend to confine my reading to short story collections and magazines or essays. Roo is just learning to read so we've been transitioning from picture books to chapter books, which is pretty cool. And Jasper has just gotten mature enough to sit still for a whole book (or two... or three... or six!) so it has been a lot of fun reading with them. I love catching them together, with Roo reading Jasper a story. Very satisfying!

    I've done a couple of reading/literacy projects through my membership in Junior League and it is always a shock to realize how many children do not own books. It's hard for me to comprehend how you could have cable TV and cellphones when your kids don't have books. Sharing my love of reading with them has always been amazing. I heartily encourage anyone who has time to check for a Share A Story program in their area- it is so worthwhile, for the kids and for the readers.

  5. My husband got me "The Shack" for Christmas. It's definitely one I want to take more time with and read again. Right now, I'm catching up on a Bible Study that ended in December...but I got a little behind toward the end!

  6. Huge reader here. I just finished reading Gail Godwin's new book: "Unfinished Desires". Highly recommend "The Help". I also can go all chick-lit and love to read anything by Marian Keyes.

  7. I'm currently in the middle of James Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany's. The Shack is on my to-read list...you'll have to let us know what you thought of it.

  8. I am reading the Bible right now. I am also planning on reading The Hole In The Gospel after I finish the study (I just have the study guide now). But I too love to read and my husband doesn't. It really drives me crazy how he won't sit down and read a book/magazine/etc, but it all goes back to childhood when his parents did not read to him. Great post!

  9. I am totally a book worm! I would read a book a day when I was in high school! Now I have to be careful when I read because I so totally zone out that my son could get into anything!
    I've just finished a book, it wasn't fabulous, but I read a lot of books for review. One of my favorites this year though was The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson.

  10. Well, after baby #4, I've hardly read a lick! I was in a book club with some close girlfriends (the last meeting I attended was the night before I gave birth to Serena, 10 months ago!) and we aimed to read 1 book every month-6 weeks. It was great, the name of our book club was SWF (Sometimes We Finish) and we'd all get together even if we didn't read the book because it was always fun gleaning what others had learned. Now, I'm reading the The Boxcar Children to the boys before naptime, it is SO FUN to revisit old children's books like this! I can't wait for the Little House books to come up on our list!

  11. I want to be well read too! I am an avid reader. Right now I'm finishing up a great historical fiction novel: Into the Wilderness. I'm also reading The Power of a Praying Wife, The Minds of Boys, and Writer Mama! I like to mix up the fiction and nonfiction.

  12. I love reading too. I'm hoping that my kids pick up on how much I love to read and start to really enjoy it too!! I've always read to them, since they were babies. I've only recently started reading books for me again. I'm reading lots of Jodi Picoult these days (love her!) and right now I'm reading Loving Frank by Nancy Horan for book club.

  13. I LOVE reading and my child is finally sleeping enough that I'm really getting back into it.

    Right now I'm reading and REALLY enjoying The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

  14. Well, first of all Happy Birthday, I hope it's lovely!
    I've been reading "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend. It's been very helpful for me.

  15. I'm reading "Suite Francaise" right nice... the first book written by a woman during world war two. She never finished it because she died in Auschwitz... It is a very real picture of what it was like.

    I love reading, Steph. I got it from my mom, too. Must run in the family!

  16. I read a lot. Way more than is probably good for me, probably. I'm currently reading "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes." I can't believe I've never read it before. It's great!

  17. Stephanie, you make me want to be a better person. HOW do you find time for it all? I love to read, and I read voraciously as a teen. But I just don't have time anymore, and I often don't know what to read, when I do have time, although right now I'm plowing through books on food and traditional diets. :-)

  18. I love to read as well. I'm currently reading the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, and The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry. Both of your current books are on my list of books for this year. I hope I get to them!

  19. I've always been a big reader. In elementary school I'd get teased for reading so many books in one month that my line on the Book It poster would have overlapping stickers (remember Book It? I loved earning those free Pizza Hut coupons!)

    I'm usually reading at least two books at one time, usually a non-fiction book or two, along with a novel. I just picked up "The Blind Assasin" by Margaret Atwood, plus I'm thumbing through a collection of essays by Anne Lamott as well as "Handmade Home" by Amanda Soule.

  20. I'm in between reading Rich dad Poor Dad (dont ask me why i'm just reading that, cus it seems like the entire continental USA is done reading this book). Also reading How to Influence Friends and People ( i think thats the title).

    I love reading, but I get too busy studying, which makes the desire for reading fade away. Maybe i'll start reading again.

    Visit my blog at http://www.safehomehappymom.com

  21. I'm in between books. Just finished Sarah's Key (excellent) and looking for something to get lost in again.

    I remember learning to love books one summer when my mom imposed 30 minutes of daily reading. I put up such a fuss at first, but it wasn't long before I was calling myself a bookworm!

  22. As a mama, a librarian, and a reader, I can confidently say you are right on! One of the best things parents can do to encourage their child's reading habits is to model the behavior. Mem Fox has a great, quick read for parents and teachers on fostering a child's love of reading in her book _Reading Magic_.

    I just finished reading _The Help_ and loved it. Now I'm reading Jodi Picoult's _Keeping Faith_ for book group. _The Shack_ and _The Happiness Project_ are both on my to-read list.

  23. I've always loved reading. Growing up with very limited TV, being home all day long because I was homeschooled, there wasn't much else to do!

    I still love reading. I much prefer a book over a TV show.

    I'm reading a ton of books. You should see my bookshelf! I'll just name a few:

    Food Inc
    The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
    In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto


    6 siblings! That is so awesome. Are you close to them all?

  24. Just finished The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch... amazing. Currently reading A Thousand Splended Suns. I love love love reading. I have dreams of starting or joining a mom's bookclub...

  25. I loved the library when I was little too. My mom would take us every Monday night, and I would check out 25 books (the max for the week) and read them all by the next week. I can't sustain that pace nowadays, but I still read 1-2 books a week.

    Right now I'm reading "Belly Laughs" by Jenny McCarthy, a funny and very true (if rather profane) look at pregnancy!

  26. Great post! I love to read as well. I am almost done with a collection of short stories called "the Magic in the Mirrorstone" and I'm thinking of re-reading one of my favorite nonfiction books, THE STUFF OF DREAMS (a great book about American Community Theater :).

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