As much as possible, we parents want our children to grow up to be readers. However, getting a child to pick up a book on his own and actually start reading is easier said than done.
In fact, sometimes, the more we pressure them into reading, the more they resist. That’s why we think this dad’s subtle but clever tactics might just be the thing to jumpstart your child’s love of reading as it did for his son. This story appeared in Fatherly.com.
Christopher Reiss tells the story of how his dad, a college teacher, simply placed a library book in his room every week for him to see. This was when he was 8 years old.
“Once a week, a library book would just appear in my room. They were of all different genres, some written for kids, some not. I can't tell you more because I didn't read them. I felt no pressure to. I just got used to them appearing."
He kept at it. And kept at it. Week after week. Month after month. He only ever said "just give it a look,” he wrote on Quora.com.
Eventually, a book did catch his eye -- it was The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
His dad soon discovered that Christopher actually had a love for more classical and fantasy books. And then, after a few more books, his son was hooked.
“I was reading constantly by 9 and by 10, just turn me loose in a book store or library and I'd emerge with an armload of books,” said Christopher.
“I wasn't even aware he was trying to get me to read. But I put it all together years after the fact,” he said.
We applaud Christopher's dad for his approach. And in case this got you inspired, here are a few titles you can "leave in your child's room", hoping he/she will take the hint. These 5 titles are recommended for children ages 8 and up:
Local books (book descriptions by Kat Castañeda and Rachel Perez)
1. Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! by Nanoy Rafael
Isko is worried about having a new baby around – and then he finds out the joys of having a sibling from his friends and Doktora. 2008 PBBY Silver Anniversary Prize Winner Available at National Book Store for P135
2. Big Brother by Grace Chong
Tinuy, 21, has Down syndrome and still behaves like a little child. His youngest brother Bunsoy is the one who takes care of him and does the household chores when their nanay is at work. Available at the OMF Lit Bookshop for P70
3. May Higante sa Aming Bahay by Rhandee Garlitos
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Matt-Matt is afraid of the “giant” in their house. He’s not used to seeing his OFW dad at home, but bonding with him changes all that. 2009 PBBY-Salanga and PBBY-Alcala Grand Prize Winner Available at National Book Store for P79
International books (book descriptions by Maika Q. Bernardo)
4. Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant
Mr. Putter signs up for “Read Aloud with Your Pet at Story Time” with his pet cat. His friend Mrs. Teaberry joins, too, and brings her pet dog. Hilarity ensues in this story that celebrates the pleasures of reading. Geisel Honor Book Award Winner Available at National Book Store for P785
5. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
Kids will enjoy chanting the long name of the protagonist of this folktale about how the people of China came to give their children short names. Available at Fully Booked for P313