I was raised a reader. I probably spent the most part of my childhood and early teenage years curled up in bed or in the couch, reading a book. I also don’t believe in keeping books looking pristine and like brand new. You would know which of my books were my favorite: they look tattered and full of dog-eared pages. I tried to stop this habit in high school because a lot of my friends were very careful in handling their books. But it wasn’t me. I preferred (and still prefer) having books that look like they were read.
So when I had Yuri, you bet all I wanted was to raise him to be a reader, just like me. When he was a baby, I bought more books than toys and made sure he was surrounded by them all the time. I gave books as presents. I even wrote about his books constantly in my old blog (this was how his library looked like 4 years ago – the collection’s grown a lot bigger now). We read all the time and I religiously read him bedtime stories.
Until he lost interest in the classic story books I bought. He refused to be read books and only wanted to play.
I wasn’t really devastated — I just accepted that maybe he just wasn’t into books as much as I am. When he finally learned how to read when he was 4 years old (thanks, Eye Level!), I thought it would spark his interest again. Well, he liked reading alright… only he preferred to read road signs, car models, and things written on walls. Books not so much. Our books remained unopened and I didn’t buy any new story books for quite a long time.
Instead, I bought him maze books and activity books, which he devoured! I just thought I shouldn’t push it because he might see reading as a chore. So I let him be.
On his fifth birthday last year, his Tita Hazel (aka his Tita Girlfriend lol) gifted him with a thick science book. It was a great addition to Yuri’s ~untouched~ library. I left it in the bedroom with full intention of transferring it to the bookshelves, but life happened, and I completely forgot about it.
One day, Yuri discovered the book by himself…and by 11 pm, I had to force the book away from him because he didn’t want to stop reading!
And then it occurred to me: it’s not that he didn’t like reading books — he just didn’t like reading story books!
It was a total duh moment for me. I then showered him (only metaphorically) with books about dinosaurs, outer space, cars, machines, planes. I learned that he doesn’t necessarily have to read award-winning, highly acclaimed children’s books; he just has to read!
After that revelation (at least to me), I try to take Yuri to the bookstore as often as possible. I try to buy brand new books only during occasions, so on regular days, our go-to place is Booksale!
Here’s our latest Booksale loot:
What about you? What did you discover about your child’s reading habits?