Read baby, Read…

Every little thing I have done as a mother of two daughters has made me happy, but the best thing which I enjoyed was to read for them. Whatever work I had to do around the house would go on a pause for this important bonding time between us.

Starting with alphabet books, one line per page stories, picture books, Panchatantra, Fairy tales, I read aloud almost any book I could get for them.  Even after my girls started reading books on their own, there was this special reading time on the bed, spent on me reading their favourite story.

I still remember the book 50 Bedtime Stories, which used to be their favourite one.

50 Bedtime Stories

They knew every story, every character depicted as pictures, every emotion of the characters!!! And sometimes the response from the girls will also be the same. But they loved me to read it for them. And I considered it a blessing to cuddle around in the bed, under the comfort of a rug, two little heads resting on my shoulders, the soft smiles and popping eyes of the girls!!! Actually there is a better word – contentment.

There was always a book available around to read during eating times too. And later the girls started packing a book to read while travelling to school by bus. Even the train travels are never done without a book; the scenery fades away fast beside us but the words in the books stay with us forever!!!

When as a family we visit book stores, my girls used to walk towards the kids book section, instead of the toys or dolls. The excitement of finding a new book which they like is just tremendous for me. And the loads of Enid Blyton are still a treasured item in the house. Who will not love those fantasy filled stories by Blyton? It’s like a comfort book, where you can go to re-live a moment from the past – your childhood.

Enid Blyton Series

Buying books found no reason or treason, with us. We use to visit stores just like that and pick up any book the girls like to read.

There used to be an Open house kind of thing after every month in the school my girls went to, where the teachers met with the parents and gave their Assessment card. We go to the Open House, get all thrilled and happy with the teachers praising our girls and to treat them, we bought them books. And so there started a tradition, which we still continue.

This amount of reading books shows in their wonderful vocabulary, while writing their English essays in school. The English exams are full of grammar and comprehension exercises and the book reading habit has really helped the girls to fare better than their counterparts.

And over the years, we have had many arguments over characters in the book, especially during the HP days. It was a pleasure talking and quizzing them on the spells and the names of characters.

Over the recent times, when the girls have matured to read books of different genre, I talk to them about the characters, to take the good things and leave behind the bad ones. It’s very important to allow them to read, instead of saying a blunt No to a book. My daughter will come to me if she finds any part of the book uncomfortable to read. Then we discuss it out so that she can continue her reading. This helps her to analyze a book, not based on the cover.

Now, I don’t have space to store all the books we three girls own. We keep making space wherever we can, but we don’t stop buying.

After all, a book worm is satisfied that she has bred two book worms, successfully.

Uma Srinivasan is a mother of two teenagers.  While she loves to blog, her daughters help her don hats like Chef / Baker / Parenting Consultant and many more. She manages three blogs, http://umsreflections.wordpress.com – Blog on parenting & every-day conversations, http://umaschennai.wordpress.com – My attempt to fall in love with this city called Chennai and http://umasfoodtales.wordpress.com – Attempt at sharing my recipes with the world.

  • Wow!! U have done an awesome job.. In today’s times children are more hooked on to gadgets than books and I fear one day the love for books may die.
    Its heartening to know that you have instilled the reading love in your two daughters.. I am sure they must be intelligent and creative gals.

    I am out to spread the Reading Virus and I am glad to meet a like minded..

    • Thank you Manjulika 🙂 Am glad to have met a bookworm here…

  • dhana

    the best part is that you inculcated this reading habit of yours in your kids. yes, reading books is very essential bcos nowadays all entrance exams becoming one word answering i can see children, who lack reading habit finding difficult to answer in detail. with all the sms and internet slangs i am afraid of the vocabulary they will ensue.

    • Thank you Dhana for your encouraging comments every time 🙂

      Yes, the slang vocabulary is something that worries me too and I hope that reading books instills that requirement of good language and grammar in young minds.

  • Uma, that’s a job well done. Inculcating the habit and the desire to read books in children doesn’t come easy. Especially when you have so many distractions like television, internet, etc. I am sure your lovely daughters will pass on this lineage to their children too when the time comes…

    • Thank you Shail, and I hope that they’ll pass on this to their kids 🙂

  • Applause Uma, for spawning and nurturing bookworms! 🙂 It is so good when more than one person in a household reads. the possibility of discussions on the story, characters, situations…!

    • Oh…thank you Shail 🙂 Yes, those discussions about books can just go on till the night…

  • That made for such a lovely read, Uma! The pride of having bred two bookworms is so very evident in those words you’ve penned :). Reading to your children and inculcating in them the love for it can indeed be so gratifying! It is so heartening to read about the beautiful bonding between you and your girls 🙂

    • Am all smiles…yes, reading together did make the bonding strong !!! Thank you Deepti 🙂

  • You’ve given them a great gift, Uma. I know my parents did that for me too. Books have meant so much in my life.

    • This is exactly what I want my daughters to feel Corinne. I learnt about books in a little hard way and so the mother in me took over to make bookworms of the baby girls 🙂

  • u have passed on a great habit.. i am trying to inculcate it to my daughter.. as of now she likes turning the pages and gives a smile when she recognize the pictures.. may be a long way ahead.. 🙂

    • Thats a great beginning ashreyamom 🙂 Reading loudly with voice modulation and all helps greatly with little kids !!! Hope the kid becomes a great book worm 😉

  • Yes.. books are the best companions. I am really happy now that my kids reads!! Whoooppiieeee!

    • YAY !!! Thats fantastic…hope she liked the Enid Blyton 🙂

  • Kudos to you, Uma for instilling such a wonderful habit in your girls. 🙂
    The gift of reading is one of the bestest thing you can give to a child! For me, the only gift that I can think of giving to any child is books. There are books even for toddlers… the cloth books, which can be washed too! And, it’s best that you start early with this habit!

    • Thank you Shilpa…the resolution inside me to introduce books to my children was so strong. But I had face many a pressure from other family members, who wanted to gift children with silver / toys / dresses. I would suggest books or better gift vouchers, so that I can get books for them.
      It took a lot of convincing and I am glad I stood by my resolution. 🙂

  • Suhani Chanchlani

    Can u plz tell me the name of the publisher, author, illustrator, the year of publication and other details of “50 bedtime stories.” I am looking for an EXACT same copy.