I remember being read to, but I don’t remember learning to read.
I just don’t remember ever having trouble with it. It wasn’t like learning to read analog clocks—something that actually took me a while. At one point I even pledged never to own an analog clock, but to always have digital ones.
My memories of being read to are some of my first memories, coming from a time I have so few other memories of that I know people read to me a lot. I especially remember my sister reading; she is two and a half years older than me, so she was likely learning to read herself at first.
Most nights, after our parents had tucked us in, we would climb down from our bunk bed and meet under a night light that resembled the ice cream lamp above. The light was situated between the end of the bed and a bookshelf in the corner of the room farthest from the door. My sister read to me other times, but those were made memorable by the stealthiness we had to maintain. Often my parents had to tell us at least twice to go back to bed.
Reading has always been an important part of my life, so I guess I’d never really considered before a variation from this in my eventual children’s lives. After reading today’s post on The Writer Underground, I started to wonder what teaching my kids to read will be like.
My daughter’s bedroom is largely overrun with books, but I do wonder how the rise of digital books will translate over the course of her life.
I’ve seen the iPad ads with young children happily tracing a finger across a screen to turn a page, but it only ever bothered me a little before now. Yes, I own a small tablet, and yes, I’ve read things on it. But there’s still something about the experience and physical connection with reading a paper-ink-and-glue book that feels incredibly essential to me. It’s something that feels lost in holding a cold, hard electronic device.
Despite the initial cost of buying an e-reader, I know the potential for the amount of books the device could hold, and I appreciate the giving of literature in any form to people who may not otherwise own it. I just hope that in this digital age I can somehow communicate to my future kids the joy of the smell of paper, the physical turning of a page, of closing a finished book with both hands and not a single finger.
The whole purpose of this post was to share the video The Writer Underground posted. Whatever way you read, enjoy!