Store Books for Your Child in Every Room of Your Home
You know, when you are faced with expert advice and this is something that you are already doing out of convenience or out of laziness, then you feel smug and think: Oh yeah, I always knew what I was doing ? This is exactly what happened when I stumbled upon a clue in Sarah Mackenzie’s excellent book , Family Read Aloud: Building Meaningful and Lasting Relationships with Your Children . To make reading aloud a meaningful family ritual, Mackenzie suggests keeping books in every room of the house.
Research shows that children living in homes with many books benefit from simply having books. The fact that there are books there has a long-term positive effect on our children – how they think about home, how they see themselves, and the role they see in books in their lives.
Children’s books are everywhere in our house, mainly because the bookshelf in my daughter’s small bedroom is overflowing and I didn’t have time to find another storage solution. But after reading Families to Read Aloud, I realized that, in any case, there is no reason why books should be kept in one secluded corner. Families who value reading keep baskets of books everywhere – in the living room, by the patio door and, yes, even in the bathroom.
I know the story has to happen all day long, not just when it’s five minutes before your child is supposed to fall asleep and everyone is tired and you have a to-do list (and / or a Netflix show to catch up), and you’re tempted to “accidentally” skip a few pages here and there. Keeping books in plain sight at all times is a reminder to steal reading moments beyond a given length of time. In a post about how he tricked himself into reading more books , Lifehacker writer Patrick Allan notes that “every nook and cranny during the day has useful moments.”
Since we have books all over our house, my 5-year-old daughter will flop on the couch and instead of immediately asking to watch TV, she will notice several headlines on the side table: Chopsticks , After the Fall, and Animals Must. Definitely not wear clothes – and ask, “Mom, can you read this to me?” When she’s in a bad mood, I sometimes notice a stack of books next to the backyard door and suggest, “Hey, let’s go outside and read together in a rocking chair.” swimming lessons 10 minutes early, I notice there are books in the pockets of my car seat and we can flip through one before we go inside.
We’ve never read the sticker sheets or anything like that – it seems like too much pressure to me. Instead, we allowed books to permeate all areas of our lives – literally – and whether it was intentional or not, I love that the stories are always there.