I know I've said it before but I love to read! I have probably also said that my kids love to read, too. I have a strict rule: If you ever want a book, I'll get it for you. It's been a rule since my kids were babies. If they want a book, they shall have it. They are not spoiled. They just know that reading is important and money should never keep them from reading. Now I realize they both don't need me to buy books anymore but I still do. It's what we do when we get together. We go to the book stores! (They also use the library and other free places before you yell at me for not utilizing resources!) Every time we get together, we head to Half Price Books, Barnes and Noble, and any other place with books. It's what we do for fun. Now that baby Lyla is here, we also take her. We read to her and she picks out books, too. She loves to listen to us read to her and she's already got her own page on Goodreads! She does also like to chew on books but that's another story.
My love for reading began before I can remember. I could read before I got to Kindergarten so I can't remember a time I wasn't reading. I have wonderful memories of my Grandma reading to me every time my brother and I went to stay with her. My grandparents had a bookcase full of children's books that we could choose from to read. When it was bed time, we picked our books and Grandma read to us as long as we could listen.
As I grew up, I always had a book to read. I can't think of a single moment in my life that I didn't have a book in my hands. I have books on my nightstand to be read. I have downloaded books on my iPad to be read. I have a list of books on my phone that I want to read. I am actually reading two books at once now because one of the teachers I work with recommended a book to motivate teachers, but I'm also reading a fiction book that I want to finish. I rarely read two at once, but I'll do it! I actually might have a book addiction, but I'm not looking for help to get over it!
I also remember the days of RIF. Does anyone remember this? Reading Is Fundamental! We had tables full of books and we got to pick one to keep. Oh, how I loved these days! Also book order days were great for me. Looking through all the books in the book order and going home to ask my mom how many I could have. I don't remember her ever saying no to buying a book. Thanks, Mom!
My goal as a teacher is to take my passion for reading and sharing it with my students. I always tell them that I want them to leave me loving to read. I encourage them to find a book that they love and then they will want to read more. I've had a few students come back to me and say I am the reason they love to read now and that's like an actor winning an Oscar to me!
I know that sometimes we get caught up in the curriculum and the rules and forget that kids just need to learn to appreciate a good book. If we force them to read too much of the "required reading" and don't give them choices, the love of reading will be squashed. I don't remember ever hating to read because teachers made me read things I didn't want to. I honestly believe that I had already loved reading so much that no one could take that away from me.