We have books in every room.
We read to Little Chick daily (and not just at bedtime).
We read or listen to books and stories every day, for personal development and pleasure.
But it struck me today: Little Chick has never seen us reading. He’s seen us reading on our mobiles and Kindle tablets, though I assume he thinks we are watching TV or playing games.
We buy books frequently, but they’re mostly delivered from online giants or high street chains. We haven’t visited specialist book shops with him, just sections in supermarkets, etc.
Inconvenient opening hours means he hasn’t visited or joined the library, even though we are both (mostly inactive) members.
He has eBooks stored on his own Kindle, but only free ones, probably irrelevant or inappropriate. I enjoy the convenience of eBooks but think the experience of reading a book and turning the pages is precious and should be encouraged from a young age. We’ve told him this but not shown him. we aren’t practising what we’re preaching…
Tomorrow is World Book Day, with the requisite fancy dress. Rather than take the opportunity to explore stories, discuss favourites, and genuinely engage Little Chick with books I have picked out a The Gruffalo costume from the fancy-dress chest. I have taken the easy option but missed the great opportunity.
I am genuinely ashamed.
My coolest ever job title was Reading Champion, with a remit of encouraging Looked After Children (horrible phrase, I know) to read for pleasure. What a title. What a job. I was paid to literally tell people how good books are and how fantastic it is to read, to escape into a book. It was an absolute joy.
And I want to share this joy with Little Chick. Stories are important to all children but care experienced children can benefit more than most from reading and life storying.
I love books, I love reading, I don’t know how I could have been so remiss. But I vow to do better. Starting now. I need to formulate a plan. I’m off to do that, armed with a £1 World Book Day voucher. But I will be back. And Little Chick will know that I am a reader.