As a parent, there are few things more satisfying than seeing your child curled up with a good book. We’ve tried to foster a love for reading in our home by creating spaces and opportunities that inspire children and adults alike to explore the world through books.
When we designed our home, we were adamant about including a home library.
Rows and rows of books of every genre means there’s always something new to read. An inviting space inspires children to settle down with a book in hand. Cozy chairs, blankets, comfy pillows, and a fireplace complete our home library where family members can be found with their nose in a book. Eliminating screens from bedrooms and gathering spaces reduces the temptation to grab the remote and instead go for the nearest novel.
Offering solid and beautiful literature in the home is paramount. While there’s a place in this life for twaddle, we were also designed by God to be edified by the true, the good, and the beautiful. Classic literature, old and new, as well as challenging and inspiring non-fiction, line our shelves. For one particular son, immersing himself in a narrative is a challenge, but diving into an Atlas is a breeze.
Variety is essential in every home library.
For the littles, we keep bins of children’s literature easily accessible throughout the home as well as in the library. Yes, the books are often dumped and strewn about. Scattered and chewed-on books are a sign of early literacy, I tell myself. Reading aloud to children frequently, whether picture books or chapter books, promotes bonding and literacy as well as language development and communication.
The tradition of listening to audio books at bedtime is being passed onto the next generation and has fostered a love for reading for our children. My husband has the fondest memories of listening to books in his attic bedroom with his brothers late into the night. Often, so enraptured by the story, they’d flip the tape to avoid cliff hangers. Audio books were the tool that helped him become a well-read child and the memories around those books are equally powerful. Our children love to listen to short stories, poetry, and classical literature while they doze off each night.
Some books have been heard time and time again, never losing their magic.
While audio books don’t allow for the timeless experience of tangibly holding a treasured story with the added bonus of the fragrance of paper and ink, they are not a less superior way to experience literature, fiction or otherwise. Recent studies indicate that both experiences are beneficial for different purposes. Additionally, a couple of our kids are auditory learners and retain information best when they can hear it. We’ve been able to find many of their required books for school with an audio component and have recently found the Microsoft Edge browser “Read Aloud” function to be very helpful for college textbooks.
In a world of screens and flashy technology, we have to be more intentional about creating a love of reading in our homes. In our experience, it’s been well worth the challenge!