Thursday, February 2, 2012

For The Love Of Reading

A couple of days ago, I promised to write a wrap-up post on the theme of self-publishing (since I've been talking about it all month) and my thoughts, insights, and feelings after the research I've done. However, after much consideration, and some failed attempts at fleshing out the subject, I'm going to postpone that blog for another day. I'll explain more when that day comes.

In the mean time, because it is such an interesting topic these days, and because the field of self-publication is changing so rapidly, if I can across anymore interesting posts/articles/stories, I'll be sure to let you know.

I'd like to kick off the month with a brand-new topic for discussion - and it wasn't even hard to come up with. Because February is symbolically the month of love, I'd like to dedicate the majority of my posts to the topic of love. Not the mushy kind (though that's wonderful too).
The love of reading.
And writing.
And books.

And more specifically, giving our children the gift of loving to read.
My inspiration for this topic actually came from my own daughter. I scanned something I'd like you to read, but before you do, I'll lay out some back story: First, the book referred to, "Meet Kit", is a short early children's novel from the makers of the American Girls Dolls, and was given to my six-year-old daughter for Christmas from a friend at school.

Second, about two weeks ago, my daughter woke up one Saturday morning on the wrong side of the bed. Literally. And she never recovered. It was like a bad preview of what to expect in the teen years. Grouchy. Irritable. Moody. Pouty.

And this from a little girl who scatters sunshine everywhere she goes. Something was definitely off, and though she couldn't find the words to elaborate on what, I figured it probably had something to do with sleep.
So she went to bed early that night. Very early.
The next morning, I found the following note: (Note - I've removed her name and dubbed her 'lil miss' for privacy reasons).
Now my heart absolutely soared with joy when I read this (and yes, some empathy as well - anyone who's read late into the night knows exactly where she is coming from!).
Why? Because I believe one of the most important skills I will pass on to my children is a love of reading. Notes like these are positive signs that all my hard work is paying off. Disclaimer - I certainly am not encouraging her to lose sleep over a book, especially at such a young age. But it is nice to know she loves reading that much, already.
I have a background in early literacy, and experience teaching kindergarten and grade one. I'm not going to pretend I'm even close to being an expert in these fields, but for the month of February, I would like to share some of the activities, books, and ideas I use to teach children to read and write. They're not necessarily peer-reviewed or research-proven methodologies, but they've certainly worked for me and others I know.

I'm also going to highlight some of my favorite children's books and authors!! (One of my all time favorite subjects - Yay!)
You know what else? I'd love to hear about your strategies too. How do you teach kids that books can be fun, and make reading a pathway to future success?

And because I know that there is more to life than children's literature, I thought I'd quickly share two links with you. I saw these recently and thought they fit perfectly with my theme.
The first, from author Jennifer Clark is about an article she found about the statistics on how much people read every year - and the numbers are scary! She weighs in on why it's so important to make the time to read.
Also, writer Lisa Asanuma has proposed a special event for Valentine's Day 2012 - she's calling it Books For Lovers, and the idea is to go out an buy a book on Valentines day from one of the brick-n-mortar stores, instead of purchasing online. To find out why, and how you can support this campaign, visit her blog! It's an interesting post.

In the meantime, I have some reading and writing to do, because hey, I love to! How about you?


  1. Thank you so much for the share! Adding you to my Google Reader!

    1. No problem Lisa - I think it's a really great idea.

  2. OMG that is so cute - how old? My 8 year old does that. I find notes all over the house :)

    1. I know - this early writing stage is so much fun. Today I found a 'birthday party invite' she made her dolls for her stuffed monkey's birthday, and a little while later the list of supplies she needed. And she's only six years old!

  3. mandi,
    I will be buying a book on Valentines Day, not in protest to online books, but out of love for the squashy chairs and hot cocoas and the smell of paper that I don't want to leave us forever.
    Watching my daughters learn to love the written word is a complete joy.

    1. I agree. I too enjoy the book privileges that come with companies like Amazon and B&N, but could never give up that nostalgic love of walking into a real life bookstore.

  4. I have been reading like crazy lately and loving everything I have read. I found you through Ali's blog - we get to be contributor's together! Nice to meet you - new follower :)

    1. Nice to meet you too, Tasha. I look forward to working with you!

  5. Thanks for the return follow :)

    PS... I love this post :)

  6. I just happened upon your blog. Fun! February is a good month to discuss romance and love. And I do love book stores, book, and everything in between.


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