I don't think there is anything better than reading to my kids.
When ever I go to my sister's place around bedtime, I get to read a bedtime story (or 2 or 3).
Last night it was Miss Suzy and Puss in Boots and the truck book. (Today I went over for lunch and we read Brown Bear. A few nights ago it was I Am Not Going to Get Up Today! I love them all.) And it was fun because I usually just have the two little ones, but last night two of the older boys joined us. I was laying on the couch, with the two little ones sprawled over me, and one boy on the couch across the room listening. Then as I was reading the pre-teen sat on the floor with his head on my shoulder. It was so nice. It was comfortable and safe, knowing they all love me, and knowing that they also knew I love them.
Reading is such a simple joy to me. I love books that are written far below where my college professors expect me to read. Reading so my mind is free to enjoy the story, instead of trying to figure out what wordy writers are trying to express. I know it is important to do the hard studying and learning too, (I'm currently reading I Hate you--Don't Leave Me, and next will be Stop Walking on Eggshells) but I like the easy books I can relax with (I am also reading the Austin Family Chronicles).
I was talking to a classmate at school (shocking, I know--It almost never happens) about books. He was rolling his eyes because he actually loved some Zombie books a friend made him read, and his wife who loved the Twilight books. I embarrassingly said that I was reading a book called "I Hate You..." and joked about how angry people must think I am. The other girl sharing the table with us pointed out that she doesn't read for pleasure anymore--too many textbooks. It's funny how differently people react to the same situation. We were all assigned an overload of books, and yet some of us stop reading for pleasure, some seek easy books add to their collegiate literature, while others make time for books they are embarrassed about, but find they enjoy, and then there's me. I read the mindless books while neglecting the textbooks. I guess as long as people are reading I am happy. Whether it is the text books, the girly books, the zombie books, children's books...As long as you are reading.
I loved reading as a child. In Elementry school years I'd stay up past midnight, reading books just for fun. I'd read so much that my mom learned the way to make me do my chores: hide my books. But then I got into Junior High and High School where reading was for reports, and I stopped. I didn't like reading when I had to look for deeper meanings, or to write reports, because I thought there was a right answer, and I always found the wrong one. I don't have the memory for all that. So I just stopped reading. For over 10 years I avoided books. I wasnt until my sister almost forced me to read the first book in a series, just for fun, that I remembered the pleasure in it.
I think that might be why I love reading with my kids--because it starts a good habit at an early age. And it's a great way to keep those mental synapses forming and connecting. And it is just for fun. There are no reports, no right or wrong answers, no pop quizzes. We read to be close to each other. We read to learn about social interactions. We read to read. I hope my kids learn to be happy and have fun, and not dread reading. I hope their teachers keep it as a fun activity that the kids get to do, instead of something they have to do.
I have an assignment for one of my classes to write a story...and as much as I enjoy reading stories, I have a hard time writing stories... I've been wanting to do Liz's recommendation of NaNoWriMo but I've missed it this month. Mostly because this year has seemed to fly by, so we were a week into November before I even realized it, but also because I have nothing to write about...I guess this is moving into a topic for anothe blog, and this one is long enough.
Why do you read? What's your favorite book?