When my son Rishi’s was in 3rd grade his teacher complained that he is not returning his reading log that he supposed to bring to his teacher every week I noticed he is avoiding the chapter books completely. He was only bringing picture books with sparse text from his library. It seemed he found it difficult read books with plenty of text and multiple chapters, not because he is incapable but because those books to him looked boring and uninviting. Obviously he was not aware of the exciting stories and depths that are lying beneath the boring pages and are waiting for him to discover .
So to improve his reading habit and to show him the joy of reading I devised a small game between us. Every week I asked him to bring a good fiction book from his school library and then we both read them independently. I would read just enough to stay ahead of him and discuss with him how his own reading is coming along. We discussed the story, the characters and the plot. Having learnt I am only slightly ahead of him, Rishi would try to beat me by reading whenever he got time, especially when I am in office. Of course I always tried to stay just a few pages ahead (even if I actually finished the book, I would tell him that I am just a few pages ahead so that he would not lose heart in competing). Sometimes I would tease him with bits of story that is just beyond his current page without giving out much but just enough to entice him to dig more swifter into the depths of the book. The trick worked and by the end of his 3rd grade he not only became an independent reader he even finished a couple Harry Potter books that are over 600 pages. Since then he never stopped reading, however yet times he slowed a bit due to other distractions such as TV!
As an added bonus my own reading habit got revived. After remaining dormant for over a decade I had started reading books again and since then I read the whole series of the Harry Potter, Lord of the rings, a few books of John Grisham and a bunch of non-fiction books. Especially I started liking Fantasy and Since Fiction more than anything else. Not that I don’t enjoy others but I just find the Fantasy and Since Fiction more fascinating.
Here is a small list of books that I finished recently –
Harry Potter (Full Series)
Lord of the Rings (Full Series)
The Associate – John Grisham
The Appeal – John Grisham
The Alibi – Sandra Brown
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
Dragonbone Chair – Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Series)
Books I am reading currently –
Stone of Farewell – Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Series)
The Everything Creative Writing Book – Carol Whitely
Books that are waiting to be read –
To Green Angel Tower – Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Series)
Tigana – Guy Gaveriel Kay
Dune – Frank Herbert
Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely