Happily, I am the daughter of an avid reader, and have passed those genes on to my own daughter, who enjoys reading and always has.
Even when she was very young, toddler age, she loved books. She’d sit quietly and look at books, or I’d read to her. We had a nightly reading ritual, and amassed quite a library of children’s and young adult books.
I can remember actually having to take books away from my daughter when she was in grade school. There were times when she’d get hooked on a book, and hide it inside a textbook so it’d look like she was reading her school work!
One year I had to confiscate books from the YA Redwall series and hide them in a drawer in my bedroom to keep her from reading instead of doing homework or any number of things she was supposed to do. But I guess there are worse things to get in trouble for!
In middle school, the English class read the abridged version of the Count of Monte Cristo. That wasn’t good enough for her. She went to the library and checked out the full version, and read the entire thing. She also reads books she’s familiar with in French to help her keep up on the language!
When my daughter was born, my mother-in-law wanted to start a collection for her. The older cousins had Hummel or Precious Moments figurines, things like that. I suggested books instead. A reader herself, her grandmother agreed, and it ended up being a wonderful ritual for my daughter to receive high-quality gift editions of so many great books. Unfortunately, the tradition stopped several years ago when my mother-in-law passed. Makes those beloved books with personal notes inside even more special.
My son, unfortunately, did not inherit the reading gene. He doesn’t read for pleasure, and though his reading skills are fine, he complains and procrastinates through high school English Novels as if they cause him great pain and suffering. Then he gets a 32 on the reading section of the ACT. Go figure. It saddens me that he’ll never know the wonderful characters and stories that are so familiar to me, but it’s just not his cup of tea.
We laugh that while my daughter devoured books as a young girl (as in read them voraciously), my son literally chewed his up. Used them as teething toys. And we have little board books with missing chunks to prove it!
Ah, well. Hopefully I’ve passed on other good qualities to that one.