Thursday, February 11, 2010
Kids Don't Read
It's not completely true. Kids read a lot of things- packages, text messages, words on commercials - but are they reading books? Are they reading books for fun? Maybe it's just me because I've always been a reader but it kills me to hear when kids say "I hate reading." Once I met a college sophomore who claimed he had never read a book.
"That's not true," I retorted, "What's the last book you read."
He didn't even look ashamed as he said, "The only book I've ever read was probably some Dr. Seuss book."
The guy had never read a book. At 19 years old, who can we blame?
My parents never said no when I wanted to buy a book. Unless I had a stack at home, books were the one thing I knew I could always have. Maybe it's not good to spoil your kids but if they're going to be reading, I think they should have the opportunity to.
I see so many parents say "no" to kids asking for books with the excuse "we're going to the toy store later."
I've had a coworker overhear the excuse, "You have books. You don't need anymore." Or, "you have a book."
One reason this really makes my blood boil is that there are so many great kids and young adult books out there. Books that rocked when I was a kid are still around and new ones are coming out all the time. When I was a kid books were a place I could escape to no matter what my parents were arguing about, what rumors my friends were spreading, or what was happening with the Colorado weather outside. I had a safe place to go and in the meantime, I acquired the very valuable skill of reading comprehension not to mention all the great things I learned about the world around me.
We know, the more you force a kid to do something, the more they're going to resist. And while there are so many electronic distractions, how can we expect our kids to read? So what can you do? You can buy a kid a book and you can hope for the best. You can read to your kids. You can donate books to schools. And you can suggest books that you liked when you were a kid to today's youth.