August 9th celebrated National Book Lovers Day and promotes a day of reading for those who love to read. Readers were encouraged to find their favorite reading place, a good book and to read the day away.
Reading is something I enjoyed since I learned how to read as a very little girl. The family dinner table took center stage as this was the chosen spot where my mother first taught my older sister and brother to read. I often stood in the shadows and could not wait until I was old enough to learn how to read. I did not realize that listening actually drew me closer to reading. In my formative years, I was captivated with two classics: Little Red Riding Hood and Charlotte’s Web. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Hyatt, read Charlotte’s Web to the class right after recess. She encouraged us to find our special spot in the classroom as she read from her lemon yellow metal rocking chair at the front of the class.
In our home, we have two special reading spots where we teach our children to read: the breakfast counter in our kitchen or the cushy sofa in our family room. Catherine was too young to benefit from our early reading lessons with Christina, but has found enjoyment in Margaret Hillert’s beginning-to-read series. We were fortunate to find an early reader for Little Red Riding Hood. This classic fairy tale is recited with words that give shape to the same plot and conveys the same excitement I felt in my primary years.
Catherine’s cognitive challenges does not limit her enjoyment of literature but requires a slightly different approach. Pictures in a story will convey a special meaning and is a great tool to understand the theme of a story. Many times before Catherine starts reading a book, we will spend time talking about the pictures. We may also read the entire book to her to give insight into the plot. Finally, we express our excitement and become very animated in our story telling. This is when we see her eyes light up and her interest blossoms.
Reading has such a universal reach as it expands vocabulary, exposes new morsels of information and can take you to a tranquil place as you unlock characters positioned around an intriguing plot. This is true for any book that spans from an early reader to the latest best seller. If you did not get to celebrate National Book Lover’s Day and have a book you just have to read, it’s not too late to find your favorite space and read the day away.