The importance of a significant other when it comes to children and reading.

father son The writer, Graham Greene said books are at their most powerful in childhood—when our minds are most open and innocent; when our imaginations are most alive. Nothing short of another living, loving human being can equal a book in its power to simultaneously move, influence, change, heal, excite, educate, and inspire. BUT initially books are not enough. In the beginning there must be a bonding agent, a parent, relative, teacher or librarian, someone who attaches book to reader.

No one is born wanting to read. Children become readers on the laps of their parents. The desire must be planted by someone outside the child, what psychologists call the ‘significant other.’ The love for reading comes to life inside a reading relationship with a significant other— this is how children become lifelong readers. Children might forget the details of the story but they will never forget the love and closeness they felt while being read to.

Although there are 10 times as many children’s books being published today than a decade ago, hundreds of children’s bookstores and library usage has librarians smiling, none of it will add up to much without that significant other.


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