While skimming one of Publishers Weekly‘s online newsletters, I came across the following article from Forbes online:
Jordan Shapiro argues that technology isn’t the demon pulling kids away from reading that many think it is; rather, it’s adult attitudes toward reading, books in particular, that contribute to the decline in kids’ reading for pleasure. He cites some very interesting statistics to prove his point. I have to agree with him, but not just because of his stats. I see it every day I’m in the library. I see it amongst my friends’ children and those of my relatives.
If the parent reads, the kid reads. Especially books. You can’t tell a kid that reading is important and expect them to read XX number of minutes per day, when you spend your free time playing games on your iPhone or watching TV.
Children do what you do. (This dooms me to having a child obsessed with shoes and who likely will have a mouth like a trucker, but darn it, she reads everything she gets her hands on.) You want your kid to be a reader? Don’t just take them to the library – check out books yourself. Make sure your child sees you reading – especially books and magazines and newspapers, whether you do so on a Kindle or an iPad or the print copy itself. And while you’re at it, read one of their favorites now and then. Children love to discuss what they read, just as adults do.
Shapiro says something else that really resonates for me. “We value literacy, cheering on small kids to learn to read as quickly as possible. But when these kids become adolescents they attempt to directly emulate their adult role models. If adults don’t read books then trying to act like an adult means not reading books.”
Let’s set a good example. Being an adult means reading. Not just skimming the news online or picking up People at the doctor’s office. Reading. Books of all sorts and genres. Magazines and newspapers. Even blogs!