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A Dad’s Library Books Method Could Turn Your Kid into a Lifelong Reader

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If you love reading, it’s extremely tough to watch your own offspring shun the delightful bit of escapism.

As with all things, the more you try to push it on them, the more your child is likely to resist – which means you’re stuck waiting for a miraculous change to happen on its own, or resorting to underhanded tricks to maneuver them into giving it a shot.

Now, I’m not normally a fan of sneaking things into my kids’ minds and lives, but when it comes to instilling a lifelong love of reading, I’m willing to make an exception.

And according to writer and software developer Christopher Reiss, this trick 100% worked on him when his dad pulled it many years ago.

And if this simple, tried and true trick worked on him when he was 8, it could work on your little too.

 

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Here it is: leave a library book in their room, but don’t say a word about it unless they ask.

Christopher says that books began to appear – different genres, some children’s books but not all of them – and then, after a week, they were replaced, whether he read them or not.

He never did, but his dad didn’t quit. For months, he left the books, saying, “Just give it a look.”

Then, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe caught Christopher’s eye, and for the first time, he began to turn the pages. Eventually, he went excitedly to his father to discuss the plot.

 

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“My dad didn’t praise me. He received the news with feigned distraction.”

Christopher didn’t realize until later that all of this was orchestrated.

He finished the book, and when another didn’t appear, he questioned his father about it.

His dad told him to check his closet, “A gateway to a magic kingdom,” and when he did, he found the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia inside.

From there his dad leapt to A Wrinkle in Time and then to other classic science fiction and fantasy as he learned exactly what his son enjoyed.

 

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He also was as likely to offer adult books as children’s, and was available to discuss whenever Christopher wanted.

“I was reading constantly by 9. By 10, just turn me loose in a bookstore or the library and I’d emerge with an armload of books.”

So, there you go, parents. As with most things, if you let your kids think they’ve discovered it on their own, they’re more likely to embrace it for a lifetime.

And reading is a wonderful love to pass along, no matter how it gets handed down.