I just read an article in Publishers weekly that Janet Reid posted on her blog. It actually brought tears to my eyes. It really surprises and upsets me how thoughtless parents can be sometimes when referring to their children while their children are present. In this article, a young girl about 14, was in a book store searching for just the right book. She would occasionally bring different books up to the counter and ask questions. At on point the book store employee went with the girl back to the YA shelves and made some recommendations. Upon seeing the recommendations the mother made the comment, "She's not a strong reader" then made some reference that the girl rarely finishes books. It kind of irritated me. There have been times where I didn't finish a book, does that mean I'm not a strong reader? No. It doesn't. Like this girl I'm very selective in what I read. If I can tell from reading the back of a book or the first page that I'm not going to like it, I don't start reading it. There have been books that in the beginning held my interest but somewhere around the middle I lost interest. That in no way classifies me as someone who's not a strong reader. And how horrible that girl must have felt to hear that. Obviously this girl was taking her time looking for just the right one.
This article reminds me of when I started getting into reading. I was a junior in high school. I was not an early reader (That's what I call those that started reading prior to junior high). I wish I had been. I was not encouraged at an early age to read for enjoyment. It wasn't until someone from high school turned me on to the Vampire diaries that I really understood why all the early readers read for fun. Then I went nuts reading Christopher Pike and RL Stine. And then I was discouraged. Usually because my mother didn't like the fiction and fantasy that I did. She called it junk or trash. After that I went through phases where I would get really into a series but it wasn't until the last few years that I started reading on a regular basis. It's it's mostly YA. Now I can't imagine not reading. It makes me wonder how my life might be different if I had been encouraged to read at an early age. I mean, it is what it is. No use wasting wishes now it all played out the way it did for a reason. But because of it I strongly encourage reading to my son. He's not quite two but he loves to be read to. He brings me books when he wants them read. Or there's time where I check on him in his room and I find him sitting contently in the middle of his floor flipping through a book. It all played out for a reason. Just gotta go with it.