Gone are the days when books had to be chewed, swallowed, and digested, to quote Bacon. In today’s world of advanced technology when computers, television, cinema and cell phones dominate man’s life, books and the pleasures of reading are far from the minds of the modern youngsters. Hence, if you want your child to be a reader, if you want to introduce your child to the treasures of the realm of books, its parents who inculcate the reading habit by the right choice of books at an early impressionable age.
The very young reader lives in a world of fantasy Books selected at this stage should be imaginative and subjective and colourfully illustrated to appeal to the very young.
Language should be simple and dramatic and the stories should be short narrative to the collection of tales is the most appropriate choice at this stage when the child graduates from fairy tales to anecdotes to stories of adventure and school experiences. Boys may enjoy gory thriller sand much action as they reach their teens, while girls moon over life stories and romance. The usual and the and the bizarre appeal to many youngsters at this age.
When choosing books for children the basic necessity is that they give pleasure and the child is able to slip into the role of the characters he reads about. Parents should select books wit care depending upon the child’s interests. Children should be allowed to graduate from one type of book to another when they are mentally prepared to move on.
Never judge a book by its cover! When choosing books for children, parents should skim through the pages to see whether, it would make appropriate reading for a child. Of course a parent who is a reader will have no problem in the selection of books. A word of caution here; do not expect a child to read a book just because you found it interesting. Children, particularly boys, may turn to comic strips and the comic craze could last awhile. Do not stop them. Let them enjoy their comics but also encourage them to try other reading material.
Choose books that appeal to the child and if he likes a particular author let him enjoy his reading for as long as he wants before you introduce him to other writers of similar fiction. Let him feel his way, make his decisions – let him like his reading. Y ou may have enjoyed the classics, Philosophy or Politics but do not impose your likes on the child of today. If the love of reading is instilled in the child, he will gradually read almost any type of literature even if it is heady or serious. Never belittle the little child’s taste in books, always be quick to encourage, read his books and share his views.
If a parent wants to introduce a child to other modes of writing like poetry or drama, perhaps a discussion on the works of the poet or playwright may help. Let you r child decide whether he wants to pursue such reading and would like to read poetry, (sissy stuff in the opinion of today’s youth) perhaps quoting lines from well known poems could do the trick. Poetry cannot be forced on anyone, child or adult. So, if your child revolts at the idea of reading poetry, respect his decision and let him do his own thing.
Finally, let’s not forget that books may have been Man’s best friend in the past but in the rat race of modern day living reading has to be coaxed and nurtured. Of course once an individual turns to books, just like the bookworm he will delve through any type of reading material he could lay his hands on and books will become a necessary part of his life.