Thursday, January 17, 2013

Score One for Me

This week has proven a success in the "reading family" front...and it was all luck. Let me back up and explain.

I am a firm believer that reading is the basis behind most successful people. And I don't mean book crazy reading like me, but simply the ability, willingness, and interest to read, which usually means a person can read well. Even if a person doesn't read much for pleasure, it is still a widely necessary skill to get further in life. Now all of this is convenient for my purposes...because even if it wasn't true, I'd still aim to make my family a "reading family" just because I love books.

And luck? Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. My family has been absolutely primed to value books and reading in general. There is a large, overflowing bookshelf in every room of my house; they've received books as gifts their whole lives; they've always seen me reading; and I've always talked books with them (preparation). My daughters caught on quickly and even my TV addicted husband has read series of books that proved themselves irresistible. Now all I was waiting for with my son, who is 8, was the opportunity for all that prep work to kick in.

Opportunity struck twice this week! First, during my book trip with my middle daughter last Saturday (same trip I wrote about in my last post), we stumbled across a trilogy in the kids' section called Dr. Proctor's Fart Powder. Looking through it I knew my son could read it, but the title was all he needed. I found the first one on my bookswap site with hardly any wait time. When I got home I told him about it and he sounded interested as he went into hysterical little boy giggles.

The next day he comes home from school, asking if I had gotten the mail. I said yes and his reply, "Well? My book?" I told him I hadn't ordered it yet because we were second on the waiting list. He threw his math workbook down with a dejected look, "I hate homework." Teacher-me wanted to lecture about taking frustrations out on homework. English-me wanted to say eh, it's just math. We did the homework and he talked about how badly we needed to go to Barnes and Noble the whole time. (Which, by the way, he thought was a library until very recently. Oops.) Luckily, the book was offered up to me the next day and we are currently waiting its arrival from a lady in Florida. Can't beat a book that only costs media mail shipping!

Today my son came home with the second book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He had read to page 74 in a couple days and was very excited to share. I took him to his sister's room where the entire seven book series sat on her shelf. His eyes widened and he pulled them out and started to put them in order. "I wish these were mine," he said suggestively.

"Well, I bought them and any books I buy for one kid, any kid can read," I told him.

A pause. "Can I keep them in my room?"

"Of course." And he and the books were gone. I went to get the girls together for their piano lesson, calling out to Cade on my way to grab his DSi (hoping to pass the hour in the car peacefully). But he replied, "Can I bring a book instead?" YES! in my mind, but said cooly.

He came out with the first of the Wimpy Kid series. "I thought you were halfway through the second one?" I said.

"I was, but I've gotta read the first one first." What? Was it possible that not only had my son hit his stride with some book interests, but he had a touch of my book snobbery as well? Gotta read them in order.

My son is required to read 30 minutes a night for school and so far it's been more often a hassle than not. He was never fully engaged in the stories we read. Until now...a couple of good ones and he's off. That's all it takes - that one special book that sparks a lifetime of reading success. 


  1. "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity".

    I am coming right out and admitting I'm going to steal that line. I love it.

    Great post.
    May I suggest...
    Check out This post and the one prior, combined, would make a great article for them.

    1. I think someone famous said the luck piece first, but it rings true so I repeat it often. And I will check into I've read your pieces on there before!

  2. Wow...I am so happy to discover your blog. I saw your nomination on Story Cartel, read your posts, and nominated your blog as well. Your perspective really resonates with me as I also have an eight year old boy and 11 year old daughter, I am a teacher, and read and write whenever I can. My son has just started reading Matt Christopher's books which are sports related chapter books. Of course, he also loved the Captain Underpants books that were lovingly passed down by his older boy cousins. I had my reservations, but was rewarded with devilish grins and the glow of his booklight every evening. Looking forward to discussing books and writing!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm so happy you found your way here too! I will look into the Matt Christopher books too, my son likes to change it up, keeps his interest. What do you teach? I teach 11th grade American Lit, but have also taught 7th grade grammar and 9th grade English.

      Thanks again! I am always excited to have people to talk books and writing!