Cultivating Your Child’s Love for Reading

A Guide to Cultivating Your Child’s Love of Reading
by Leslie Campos

Cultivating Your Child's Love of Reading
Photo via Pexels

Fostering a love for reading in children is a priceless gift that benefits their overall development and expands their understanding of the world. Instilling early reading habits not only enhances their academic skills but also nurtures their imagination and empathy. This article outlines practical strategies for cultivating children’s reading habits: creating shared reading times, offering a variety of books, setting up a cozy reading space, encouraging regular library visits, establishing a daily reading routine, balancing screen time, engaging in post-reading discussions, and modeling a love for reading.

Make Time to Read Together

Setting aside time to read with children is a fundamental step in cultivating their interest in books. Creating a routine for shared reading, such as a bedtime story or a weekend morning book session, establishes consistency. Prioritizing this activity amidst a busy schedule demonstrates the value of reading. This practice not only helps develop a child’s reading skills, but also strengthens the parent-child bond.

Ensure a Diverse Selection of Books

It is essential to provide children with access to a wide range of books. Diverse reading materials that include various cultures, experiences, and perspectives encourage inclusivity and curiosity. By introducing children to different types of literature, parents expand their child’s horizons and foster a more comprehensive understanding of the world.

Create a Cozy Reading Space

A dedicated reading area in the home can significantly enhance a child’s reading experience. Designing a comfortable, well-lit reading nook invites children to spend more time with books. Such spaces can be simple yet appealing, providing a serene environment that encourages reading, and you may even be able to add to the value of your home. Be sure to keep receipts and invoices to quantify any major changes you make to the space.

Regular Library Visits

Routine visits to the library is an enriching experience for children. These trips offer opportunities to explore new books and genres, and thus foster a sense of excitement about reading. Making library visits an enjoyable and educational family activity encourages children to view reading as a delightful pursuit. Not only that, but libraries offer much more than books; there are often family events and fun activities for kids of all ages.

Balance Screen Time

In the digital age, managing screen time is crucial. Setting boundaries for the use of electronic devices can create more space for reading activities. Encourage a balanced approach that includes both technology and books, allowing children to enjoy the best of both worlds. Setting these limits can challenge both parents and kids, so try reducing screen time incrementally at first so your child can get used to the change.

Post-Reading Discussions

Engaging children in discussions about the books they read is a powerful tool in deepening their understanding and appreciation of literature. Ask questions about the story, characters, and themes to promote critical thinking and comprehension. These conversations can also provide insights into the child’s thoughts and feelings, which further encourages their interest in reading.

Model a Love for Reading

Modeling a love for reading exerts a powerful influence on children’s reading habits. When children observe their parents engaged in reading, they are more likely to mirror this behavior and develop an interest in books themselves. Parents who visibly enjoy reading send a strong message that reading is a worthwhile and enjoyable activity. It’s important for parents to consciously set aside time for their own reading, whether to dive into a novel or explore a magazine. This practice not only reinforces the value of reading in the household, but also encourages children to embrace reading as a regular part of their lives.

Cultivating a child’s love for reading is a multifaceted endeavor that requires dedication and creativity. The strategies outlined in this article, from shared reading times and diverse book selections to creating reading-friendly spaces and balancing digital engagement, all contribute to developing a child’s reading habits. By implementing these practices, parents and caregivers play a pivotal role in nurturing young readers, ultimately enriching their lives with the joys and benefits of reading.

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Thanks to Leslie Campos of wellparents.com for providing this guest post.

 

Gordon Jensen – Guest Post

The Way OutBeing a writer—as in a professional writer who has published some work—seems like a glamorous, elusive way of life to anyone who doesn’t understand that if you find that you express yourself best in written form, you are a writer. And you don’t have to be published, by a big publisher or on your own, to be able to call yourself that. I wrote for decades, even published other people’s books that had a lot of my writing in them, before I let myself say, “I am a writer.” It always felt audacious and risky to claim that. I guess maybe it was a bit of imposter syndrome. But the moment I allowed that, the moment I became brave enough to really see myself that way, was the moment my writing went to an entirely different level and my career began to flourish.

I believe being a writer means you think in words more than images. That’s not to say you don’t see images in your mind, but that you are more focused on what words can best describe what you see. How can you conjure that same image for another person by describing it when they can’t actually see it? The same is true with feelings, emotions, and sensations. What combination of words can accurately and most effectively convey what is intangible and inside of you? The beauty of language is that it has that power. A Polish independent bookstore created an ad campaign a number of years ago with the slogan, “Words Create Worlds.” No truer words have ever been strung together, in my opinion.

Books and Music, Crime and Journals

Books and music, crime and journals get top billing at some fantastic websites.

If you like reading great books and listening to great music, largehearted boy is a must-visit. To quote the website, “largehearted boy is a literature and music website that explores that spot in the Venn diagram where the two arts overlap.” Authors create and discuss a music playlist that correlates to their recently published book. For example, here’s Celeste Ng’s musical selections for her Little Fires Everywhere. Also featured are book reviews, contests and giveaways, daily downloads and more.

Do you enjoy crime thrillers and real crime? Then, check out The Crime Hub. This UK-based site has information-packed interviews with those who work directly in the criminal justice system. Interviews with writers of crime fiction also fill the site. Find audio of short stories in various subgenres of crime fiction. I will be listening to some of these.

Finally, on a totally different note: Do you like to write snail mail letters to pen pals as much as I do? Do you like to journal? Then consider planneramaparty.co. This site overflows with ideas about how to coordinate your offline letter writing and journaling.

So, lovers of books and music, crime and journals, can find nirvana online. For other websites dealing with books of mystery and crime, see my previous blog post here.

 

More Murder and Mayhem

More murder and mayhem are on tap. Some of us are always on the lookout for the next great mystery read. Whether you like Golden Age mysteries, cozies, or something more modern or hardboiled, here are a book and a few websites that can help you to get your fix.

MYSTERY AND MAYHEM IN PRINT

Whodunnit - More Murder and Mayhem DescribedWhodunit? A Who’s Who in Crime & Mystery Writing
Edited by Rosemary Herbert
© 2003

An enlightening and entertaining information compendium on hundreds of classic and contemporary characters who populate the mysteries we love to read and the authors who created them. Are academic sleuths like Amanda Cross’s Kate Fansler your thing? How about sharp-tongued narrators or sidekicks like Archie Goodwin in Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series? What about Ian Rankin’s noir offerings? As Dennis Lehane says in the Preface, “Rosemary Herbert has gone to great pains to compile a compendium of not only the elder statesmen and stateswomen…of crime fiction history, but also the new blood…”

Continue reading “More Murder and Mayhem”

Mark of the Spider – Supernatural Thriller

The Mark of the Spider
by David L. Haase
© 2018

Mark of the Spider by David L. HaaseThe Mark of the Spider is an installment in David L. Haase’s Black Orchid Chronicles, a supernatural-thriller series. On a working trip to the Southeast Asian island of Borneo, photographer Sebastian Arnett searches for rare orchids to photograph. At the invitation of an Australian attaché on a mission to locate mineral deposits, Arnett joins his group’s forays into the interior. When an old, indigenous woman offers him a shot at the ever-elusive black orchid, Arnett and his mates take her up on it. But they get, and lose, more than they bargained for.

Continue reading “Mark of the Spider – Supernatural Thriller”

CrimeReads – Mysteries, Thrillers and Crime

For those who love mysteries, thrillers and true crime, CrimeReads will satisfy your cravings. An offshoot of Literary Hub, CrimeReads presents news, essays and excerpts. This website offers discussions about mystery, noir/hardboiled, suspense, espionage/thriller and legal/procedural genres. For example, currently available is the 11/28/18 posting, “Writing Crime Fiction for the Podcast Generation: Chatting with Two Authors Who Are Bringing Mystery to the World of Scripted Podcasts.” Another is the 1/17/19 post by Lisa Levy, “Mothers and Daughters and Psychological Thrillers: The Rise of Mother-Daughter Noir.”

CrimeReads interviews Matthew Quirk about The Night Agent

For suspense and thriller readers, check out The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk, published this month by William Morrow. Also, check out the interview with Matthew Quirk on CrimeReads.

Like unusual protagonists? Look for Erica Wright’s 11/23/18 post: “Unexpected Investigators: 9 Mysteries That Challenge Our Expectations for Crime Fighters.”

The website partners with numerous publishers from Akashic to W. W. Norton & Co. and everything in between. Other partners include venerable groups such as the Baker Street Irregulars as well as up-and-coming Down & Out Books (and magazine). According to the website, “Each day, alongside original content and exclusive excerpts, CrimeReads is proud to showcase an editorial feature from one of its many partners from across the literary crime community, from publishers big and small, bookstores, non-profits, librarians, and more.”

So, check out CrimeReads. See what’s happening in your favorite genre and what new books are forthcoming. Plus, find out what books are nominated for the 2019 Edgar Awards. Or, listen to a horror or true crime podcast.

For other book-related websites and apps, take a look at my previous posts about Felony & Mayhem and Litsy.

Felony and Mayhem: Murder Abounds

Felony & Mayhem
felonyandmayhem.com

Sorry for the lapse in posts over the last few weeks. The holidays got in the way; a pleasant time, but busy. Anyway, during the holiday season, I found two websites for those who like to read mysteries, one of which I’ll discuss here.

Felony and Mayhem Abound

Patricia Moyes mystery offered by Felony and MayhemThe folks at felonyandmayhem.com bring out-of-print mysteries back to life by reprinting them. For lovers of Patricia Moyes, Ngaio Marsh and S. S. Van Dine’s Philo Vance series, this site is a must-see. Additionally, “The Felonious Backlist” boggles the mind with the likes of Robert Barnard, Simon Brett, Elizabeth Daly, Reginald Hill and dozens of others.

According to the website, they “also publish an increasing number of first paperback editions of books previously published in hardcover, and (particularly) first U.S. editions of books that initially came out overseas.” In recent years, they also “brought out [their] first original: Annamaria Alfieri’s The Idol of Mombasa, a historical mystery set in 1910s British East Africa, which will be followed by another title in that series in January 2018.”

Mystery readers and writers: Check this website out. You won’t be sorry.

As the mystery lovers at Felony & Mayhem say, “Life is too short to read bad books.” I couldn’t agree more.

Next time, I’ll talk about my other find: CrimeReads.

Book Swaps and Gifts for Everyone

My BookSwap Club offers unique book swaps and gifts for everyone.  According to their website, My BookSwap Club is a group of “enthusiastic bookworms who believe in sharing our books with fellow bookworms (or a novice reader).”

Currently, My BookSwap Club offers members a Christmas BookBox with a few options from which to choose. You purchase the box and respond to a questionnaire about your likes and dislikes. Then, sit back and wait in anticipation. Over the next few days, I will purchase this box and report on what I received.

received from book swapsMy BookSwap Club also facilitates book swaps. I have just joined My BookSwap Club, so I haven’t participated in their swaps, yet. But, over the past year, I’ve participated in book swaps using social media apps such as Litsy. (See my post about Litsy, here). At left are some of the books I’ve received. So far, I’ve been pleased with the choices my swap partners have given me.

If you have found any book-related websites, social media networks or phone apps, let me know by replying to this post.

Book Blogging – Guest blog post

Book blogging takes time—time to read, ruminate and write. Then it’s time to find a jpeg or graphic of the front cover, edit what you’ve written and boost the SEO. I recently wrote a guest post on book blogging for Mary Fiacco, owner of Filles Vertes Publishing (FVP), a traditional independent publisher. Her first book, Using Curse Words: Finding Unusual Solutions to Life’s “Worst” Problems, will be published in the near future.

My short post speaks about what I like about being a book blogger. Although reading the book, forming an opinion and writing the review take time, it’s not all hardship. As publishers produce more and more books each year, plenty of candidates from many genres vie for my attention. Currently, I deal mainly with mystery novels. In the future, I plan to include some literary fiction, poetry and nonfiction. I frequently request Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) through www.netgalley.com, www.librarything.com and www.goodreads.com.

I foresee myself book blogging for quite a while into the future. Here’s to meeting new literary friends in real life and through the pages of their books.

 

Litsy: Great app for readers, writers and bloggers

 

Litsy

A few months ago, I found a new social media app focusing on books. It’s a great app for readers, writers and book bloggers. Readers interact about what they’re reading and find new writers they like. New writers can interact with avid readers and build up a readership.

While mainly a mobile app for smartphones and tablets, there is a website that gives a short overview: http://www.litsy.com.