How to help your child’s interest in reading

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I started reading books on my own. Soon enough though, the books I had to read for school occupied all my reserved time for reading. In fact, I started to not like reading so much, because I didn’t really like those books from school and had little time to read anything else.

Along my life, I would read books on my own. Just a few. Much more than my school mate´s average, I’d say. I think my interest in reading comes from having watched my parents read and comment on their books at home.

I remember my mom laughing so much at this book about a cat, and I waited anxiously for her to finish it so I could read it. I didn’t find it so amusing, but it was my first book without any drawings, and I was really proud I finished it. When I was 21, I went to Journalism College. You can imagine that in such a course, they give the students lots of books to read. I read them all, plus very few off of the curriculum.

I honestly think that no one needs to go to Journalism College. If interested in Journalism, the best one can do is read lots of books and write lots too. At college, you don’t have time to do so much of that, there is too much noise and classes in between, besides reading those books that might not interest you at all, but are ¨so essential¨.

Anyway, as soon as I left College, I went to live in the Atacama Desert in Chile and soon after in a tropical paradise back in Brazil. My first year out of college was the year I read more books in my life.

I was so excited to have the freedom to read whatever I chose and decided on many books of the same author like Charles Bukowski, Jack London and Henry Miller at that time. I also like other Latin authors and the truth is that I read little Brazilian literature.  I don´t know where my curiosity about the international authors come from, but I follow it and read a lot instead of making myself be more patriotic and stick to Brazilian literature to prove something about my roots.

I learned so many new things with books that I can only keep reading forever. Thank goodness the obligatory books are a thing of the past, or I would be stuck with the non-pleasure of finishing those pages in that defined amount of time, with probably no relation to my current life struggles and curiosity.

The best thing to help a child enjoy reading can only be read a lot yourself, have fun with books, learn from them, and share your impressions about the books with or around the child.

The worse thing is handing your child exactly what to read. Trust your child, she will find the best books for her in her point of view.

Whenever your children are playing contentedly by themselves be around them but don’t interact with them. Just sit around and read something. Hopefully, they’ll see you doing that and they’ll grow up thinking reading for fun is a normal thing. Also, if it’s a particularly fun novel, read it aloud hoping that it counts as reading with them even though they’re in their own world coloring half way across the room. Time will tell I suppose…