Drew & Kate: Tall Tales


We're Doing Something Right

Books Should be Fun and Reading Is Not A Chore

"I want to be a book writer".

This is the response we received about six months ago from our then 2 1/2 year old daughter when we asked her the question "What do you want to be when you are a grown up?" We were floored. Never had we explained what an author was or that it could be a profession. We asked our relatives and the caregivers that spend time with her and they hadn't explained either. When asked how she knows about "book writers", she responded in typical child fashion: "I just know".

Fast forward half a year later to the other night when we were sitting down for dinner. We were discussing the latest season of "Top Chef" (one of our favourite shows) and jokingly asked her if she wanted to be a Top Chef when she grew up. Her deadpan response was "No, I want to be a book writer". Floored again.

Obviously somewhere along the way she has learned or understood that behind every book there is an author who wrote it. Maybe it was from having authors appear at our bookstore from time to time or maybe someone explained it to her somewhere along the way. In any case, her interest is in writing books in the future and we are incredibly happy to hear that.

This must sound like a huge brag from proud parents, and we guess it is, but we wanted to tell this story for more than just boasting. We have always believed that if you want a child or teenager to love reading, you have to make it an enjoyable activity. Find books that they are interested in, let them explore libraries and bookstores, have books at home, and share the reading experience with them.

On a regular basis in our store we encounter parents of children of all ages who say that their children love to read. Whether it's a toddler who pretends to read their books to a teddy bear or a teenager who has to be told to put down their book at the dinner table, there are common aspects in every story: the parents encourage reading and have fostered the view that books are fun. In our case, our daughter can't really avoid books as they are such a big part of our lives, but at no time is reading a chore. We all look forward to sitting down together before bedtime and reading her favourite stories together. She gets excited about hearing new stories and it's obviously already having an effect on how she views the printed word.

Now go read a book with your kids...