In my quest to encourage the girls to read, read often, read for the sheer love of it, I set up one corner of our living room with a pile of blankets, two king-size pillows, and a stack of books, and told them this corner was ONLY for reading. No playing with toys, no pretending to take naps, we only curl up here when we want to read.
They loved it at first. Then they whined because I wouldn’t let them turn it into a tent. Part of me felt ridiculous for sticking to my guns about it, but I needed it to be special, in order for reading to be special. So I didn’t make a big deal, just reminded them that they had an entire house they could play in, they could keep one corner for reading.
Slowly, over the course of a week or so, they got used to the idea. I would come into the room to see Joy sitting there with a book. Grace would come down after her nap and cuddle up with a blanket and a picture book until she woke up fully.
And every once in a while, delight of delights, they would sit down together, and Joy would read aloud to Grace.
Now they are doing that all over the house. Joy curls up in the recliner with Frog and Toad are Friends. Grace plops down in the middle of the floor a collection of fairy tales. They sit on top of their Lego crates, prop The Little Red Hen on the coffee table, and Joy reads while Grace provides sound effects.
I know I talk fairly frequently on here about my kids and their reading habits. That’s because it is so vitally important to me right now! They don’t have to love the same sort of books that I do. They don’t have to be the type of person to get lost in another world, like I do. Carl takes great joy in sitting down with a commentary on the minor prophets, but can barely get through most fiction. And that’s fine, too.
The important thing is that the kids are learning the true magic of the written word, in whatever form takes their fancy.
And if putting an old comforter down in one corner of the house helps with that? Well, you can be sure that comforter is going to come with us no matter where we move.