Today is my scheduled day to post, and I admit I am so burnt out on the past six weeks of editing that I find it difficult to come up with a topic. My last post focused on how I spent so much time with books, and now it seems the weeks since have been much the same. This time around, however, I haven’t been reading anything for pleasure, only that of work. I find it best to stick to my own words when I am editing a hard-copy (which is where all free time has been dedicated). I really need to stay in my own story so I can remember what I’ve mentioned, who has done/said what, and where the plot is supposed to go on the page as opposed to how it was imagined in my head.
This break from other people’s writing, though welcomed, didn’t seem to truly happen, however. For as I reflect on my spare moments, I realize much of it was still with books-those of my son. Every night, we work on his “reading homework.” He’s asked to do 20 minutes per day, which to me seems like nothing but for a first-grader is akin to scaling Mount Everest. That is, of course, unless he is reading something he likes. I have learned to help him complete the assigned project first and then finish with something utterly fantastic and in tune with his interests. And this is where the fun comes in. I love seeing him choose in-depth books about the solar system (we now have a hand-drawn one in his bedroom). And of late, his fascination has been with the Titanic. We’ve read (and re-read) child-based books, and I am on the hunt for more. I’ve discovered he is much like me in that he likes to read if he can learn something from it. Chapter books about silly stories of kids his age are not high on his list, but those which show pictures and teach about the world (or sports, anything sports) are what truly spark his desire to read. I’m not sure what kind of a reader he will be as he gets older or whether his preference will shift from non-fiction to fiction; all that matters for now is that he enjoys discovering the wonderful mystery and magic a book can hold and takes the time to investigate further.
Reading at the level of my son is relaxing. Plots are uncomplicated. Language is straightforward. There is no need to dig deep or question what the author meant. It is simply a great opportunity to take a break from the business of books and focus on the pleasure. And for me, reading with my son is never work, it is simply play…