Why I Read to My Son

I've loved books ever since I was a little kid.  As a four year old, I would wait for my mom to finish washing the dishes after dinner so I could listen to her read Peter Pan to me.  When my parents would shop at Target, they would let me hang out in the book section.  After they were done, they would come find me and I would have a book already picked out.  When my dad picked me up after school, he would bring me to the library to do my homework.  If I was good (I usually was), he would check out a book for me.  I'll admit, whenever my parents took me to a bookstore, they almost always would spoil me by buying me a book that I wanted. 

As an adult, I still love books.  I love almost everything from fictional novels, biographies, business, or anything that I may be in the mood for.  One of my favorite things to do is go to a bookstore (usually Barnes and Noble), walk around, and let my mind wander.

When I was studying to be an English teacher, one of my professors had a discussion with my class claiming that students who weren't read to as children were more likely to be illiterate than children who were read to.  The next day I instructed my students (who were below average in English proficiency) to write a paragraph about their favorite children's book.  Most of them could not complete the assignment because they didn't have a favorite book as a child.

Now that I'm a father, I do my best to instill my son with a love of literature.  When he was first born, I read to him Harry Potter as his first bedtime story.  My wife does a great job reading to him every day.  Every time one of us pulls out a book, he gets really excited.  He loves watching and listening to us.  He even knows how to turn pages.  When we're at the children's section of a bookstore, he wants to touch EVERYTHING.  Anytime we go out, we have to bring his books to keep him entertained.  I think it's safe to say that so far he likes books.

My hope that he grows up maintaining his love for books.  I want him to be able to access great works of knowledge and literary art.  I want him to be able to use his imagination and extend it past what he thinks the limit is.  I want him to appreciate poetry.  I want him to see books as less of a hassle, but more of vessels to opportunity.  That way, his love for literature enhances his literacy, helps him do well in school, enables him to achieve the career of his dreams, and helps him have the life that makes him the happiest.

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