Growing a Reader


One of the things I most want to instill in my kids besides core character traits is a love of reading. I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. So has my hubby. So it seems genetically impossible that we will breed children who don’t have their nose in a book.

So far we are succeeding. The little guy can often be found sitting among a stack of board books flipping his way through. Hannah loves to be read to and is just beginning to grasp how to put sounds together. Seeing her face light up as she sounds out a word is so cool. But Lily? Lily is in a league of her own.

Lily was a very early reader. I remember her beginning to read at 3 1/2 and by 4 she was plowing through most picture books. By 4 1/2 she was tackling small chapter books. By the time she started Kindergarten there was really nothing she couldn’t read. I distinctly recall being in a hotel with her before she turned 5 and having her begin to read out of the bible. The King James Version. Even I can barely read that.

So it is not uncommon to find her with her nose in a book. She is literally the child who will walk from room to room reading while walking and nearly running into things. I sometimes have to punish her by telling her she can’t read anymore because she is ignoring me when I ask her to help with things. It is a good problem to have.

This past week during library time she checked out a fairly long chapter book that she was so excited to read. It was part of the “Indian in the Cupboard” series and her class had read the first one together. On the ride home from school, she had knocked off 50 pages and had no desire to stop. Not to eat dinner, not to play with her siblings, not to get ready for bed. The child was GLUED to this book.

It was a battle at bedtime because we played the “can’t I just read a little longer game” for way to long and it was past her bedtime already. So she finally was persuaded to give up the fight with the promise that I would wake her up a little bit earlier than usual so she could read in the morning before school.

It is not uncommon for Silas or even Hannah to wake up in the night and call out for us. Usually Silas has lost a pacifier or Hannah needs a glass of water. But Lily is a sleeper. Unless she is sick she sleeps hard. And it is always a small battle to get her up in the morning. But this night was different.

At 4 am…. FOUR A.M. we hear Lily cry out. When the hubby went to check on her she was wide awake asking if it was time to read again. The child was WIDE awake. We assured her it was NOT time to wake up and read but that she needed to go back to sleep. She agreed, but told us it would be hard because she just wanted to read this book.

Sure enough the next morning she flew out of bed, hurried through her morning routine and got back to reading. She read all through breakfast and the entire way to school. I had to pry the book out of her hands so she could walk in the door. And the book was finished by dinnertime that night.

This apple is falling right next to the tree and I love it.

Growing a reader is a Finer Thing so this is linked up to Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things.


  1. That is totally the way I was as a child and young adult. In fact I loved reading so much that when we got our grade 8 history textbook (it was all about ancient Greece, Egypt, etc) and I discovered it was like a story I read THE. WHOLE. THING in two days!!!

  2. Jessica says:

    That is awesome! My boy is the same way…we were just told by his teacher that he is reading at a 4th grade reading level and he is in 1st grade! My daughter on the other hand is not a fan…she rather work on writing.

  3. nicolerenae says:

    That is so cool! I was like that as a kid too. I’m trying to convince my son that he doesn’t need to be TOLD to read and he can do it for fun! Maybe that will work better in the summer when he doesn’t already have reading homework. And my daughter just discovered that she can read and loves to read to me, it’s so fun to watch that progression!

  4. I loved reading this post because I had a daughter just like Lily….I am the only one I have ever heard of until now that actually took reading away from a child…thanks for the good memories this morning
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  5. I hated reading until about 5th grade. And then my mom got me this book {I can’t even remember what it was} and I loved it. After that, she got me Little Women. I stayed up till 10 one night {in 6th grade on a school night, so it was crazy late in my world} just so I could read. Since then, I’ve been a very avid reader. My girls are still young {3 y and 21 mo} so they aren’t “reading” yet, but we have reading time A LOT during the day. My 3 yo has several of her books memorized that she then “reads” herself {and she actually does a pretty good job of it too}. Makes me so happy! I pray that this trend continues.
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  6. Christie says:

    And I thought my brother and I were the only kids punished by taking away our books. Mom and Dad couldn’t send us to our room, because we’d just read. So my brother always had to sit on the middle of the living room floor, and I had to sit in the middle of the dining room floor. That was our punishment, since nothing else worked.

  7. As a reader myself, and a former language arts teacher, I love hearing about children who are book lovers. I hope my own kids catch the bug when they are old enough to read on their own.
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  8. This past year we had to start allowing Clare to read in bed until she falls asleep. We’d send her to bed and then she was using the last glimpses of sunlight or the neighbors kitchen light to read by. It was buy her a lamp or get her glasses in a few years from the eye strain! We caved and bought her a lamp that clamps onto her headboard and she can read until she falls asleep. It saves me a headache of arguing and most nights she reads for a half hour to an hour.

  9. That is awesome!!! I hope my children are the same way. Right now my baby girl likes to move way too much to sit and read, but I think it will come with some maturity. She sees me read all the time.
    My husband groans when I go to the library because he knows he won’t see me for the rest of the night. But then there’s always the disappointment that I finished the book so quickly. I wish I could make them last longer!

  10. That is awesome. We should totally hook our girls up (mine turns 8 in May) and they can be reading/writing buddies and compare notes. ;)

    Someday I’ll send you the manuscript that I typed a few weeks ago. The nastiness coming from our daughter’s mouth at 10:00 PM on a school night when she was LIVID that “Daddy took MY reading light without permission!!!!” I sat on my laptop and recorded while she yelled. Can’t wait to pull that one out in a few years! :)

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