Marysville Library Blog

Friday, August 28, 2009

Reading to children: What’s in it for me?

Literacy advocates, education professionals and librarians tirelessly promote the value of reading aloud to your child to benefit your child’s reading abilities and desires. It is the best way to encourage a love of reading, and helps develop the skills children need when they learn to read on their own.

Yet have you ever thought that reading to the child in your life gives benefits to you as well? Read to the child in your life, and reap the following benefits:

1. Star in a performance with a rapt and appreciative audience. With your child gasping or laughing at all the good parts in the story, you’re the star of the show!

2. Cuddle time! Even your bigger kids who would normally sneer at cuddling with you, will take the reading-time opportunity to be physically close.

3. Connect with your children with some serious one-on-one time. Both of you give each other your undivided attention, which can lead to:

4. Springboards to life lessons and discussions. The stories can start some good discussions about family values. If you read a wide range of books, you can end up discussing sex, love, war, divorce, and other thorny issues that are otherwise hard to bring up on their own in casual conversation.

5. Taking a few minutes every day to read to your child gives you a break from the frenetic rat-race pace of your day. It’s a chance to slow down for a moment, stop worrying, and get a new perspective.

6. It’s entertainment! You’re standing in line or waiting somewhere, and what do your kids do? If you bring out a book and read aloud to them, they’re not fighting each other out of boredom. So much more pleasant for everybody!

7. Share a cheap adventure! We can’t all have travel the world, but everybody in my family has traveled to a certain boarding school called Hogwarts and shared (un)common adventures there. We share the vicarious thrill of adventures we otherwise wouldn’t be able to in real life.

So don’t just read aloud to your children out of a sense of duty. Yes you’re teaching them the enjoyment and even skills of reading, but you’re also gaining benefits yourself.




Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Books About Books - What Could be Better?

OK, maybe this is about as nerdy as it gets but there are reasons people become librarians. One of my all time favorite reads is the introduction to Webster's Third New International Dictionary. These pages at the front of this reference standard turned a key to the world of knowledge for me like nothing else. Well maybe the intro to the Library of Congress Subject Headings, but I'll save that story for another posting.

One of my favorite sources for new cool books to read is Booklist Magazine published by the American Library Association. You can browse the current Booklist edition online. This month there is a great list of books about books featuring The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the world by Paul Collins.

Now this list looks like some fun summer reading that could last well into the winter.