Friday, November 6, 2009

Readers Raise Readers

I love to read.  Always have.  I consider it nourishment, much like food.  I love TV too - don't doubt that!  Hello?  Lost, anyone?  Not long now til the season premiere - thank the heavens. 

Several years ago, I started keeping yearly track of what books I read.  I won't bore you with the titles, but I do like to compare the numbers.  Here's the breakdown:

2000 - 38
2001 - 30
2002 - 23
2003 - 25
2004 - 32
2005 - 36
2006 - 26
2007 - 38
2008 - 23
2009 - 19 (so far)

An informal analysis goes like this - 2002, Oldest was born.  She spent until early 2003 crying.  In 2003, she was a toddler.  In 2004 and 2005, things evened out around here a little bit.  I also started reading a lot about child raising in those years.  2006 saw my first major upswing in volunteer work, chairing my first fundraiser that year.  2007 - Youngest was born in August.  Oldest and I spent the entire summer reading.  I was too big to do anything else and she was really taking off with her voraciousness.  2008 - another infant/toddler year.  And 2009 is shaping up to be well below even lowered standards! 

Jeeps, what gives? 

It's another major volunteering year, for one.  I am currently serving as Secretary on a Board, member of a Development Committee, member of two Gala committees and was co-chairing a strategic plan until my partner moved away.  Now I'm chairing it.  Alone.  With no strategic planning expertise.  But I'm not bitter.  :)  That's a lot of volunteer time.

Plus I started this blog.  LOVE it.  But it is taking me away from my biggest love (after children and spouse) - books. 

I DO love a challenge though and at minimum, I must reach 23 books in 2009.  No WAY I'm going below my two lowest years.  Uh-uh.  7 weeks of 2009 left?  4 books?  Cake.  Except for the whole blogging, volunteering, kid raising, holiday planning, vacation taking, puppy raising part. 

Ohhhhh, maybe I'll use my brand new Mother's Helper (came today, LOVE HER - many thanks to Jeanne Bernish for the idea) to meet that goal.

So anyway, back to the title of today's post.  Everywhere you look, you see the advice "if you want to raise a reader, model the behavior.  Read yourself." 

Oldest read 33 chapter books this summer.  She's 7 and reading at a 5th grade level.  Youngest has at least 200 books in her room (we just cleaned Oldest's bookshelf of the little kid books over the weekend) and has been sitting for extended periods of time going through all the "new" ones.  Even with her activity level, it's all she knows.  THIS HOUSE IS A READING HOUSE.  Get used to it, sister!

So here's my question(s) for you gifted families.  Are you readers yourselves?  Are your kids? 

And tell me the truth - do you love the Harry Potter series and Twilight series?  I'm not too proud to admit it - I love them both.  ;)

See you tomorrow!
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