I was the kind of kid that summer reading programs were made for. It took nothing more than a little competition (a challenge to see who could read the most) to turn me into a library regular.
I came to love the written word so much that I can't recall ever wanting to be anything but a writer or to work at a newspaper or for a publisher, and over the years, my enthusiasm doesn't seem to have waned.
Sadly, according to an Associated Press poll, one in four adults read no books at all last year. Twenty-five percent did not crack open a cover. The same poll reported that the average adult reads only four books per year.
While I suppose I should savor being above average for a change, this is one area where I'd rather have lots of company. Especially in my own home.
My husband makes his living writing, editing and teaching writing, so it's not surprising that he's a voracious reader. He can wander the aisles of a bookstore for hours. The range of his curiosity is immeasurable.
Not so with my girl, who recently decided reading is "nerdy." Her blade cut deep. How could a child who has been surrounded by books since birth, who has been read to and written with, whose monthly Scholastic book orders occasionally threatened to reach car-payment levels, suddenly declare reading to be the height of not cool?
I'd have been less shocked if she'd come home with a barbed-wire tattoo and multiple piercings.
Celeste has always read (and seemed to enjoy reading) the books assigned to her by her teachers, but nothing has lit the fire that would have her reading for pleasure or curiosity. I keep hoping she'll stumble across the one that gets her hooked. I thought she'd found it last spring, when she tore through "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, loving it so much that she made us read it, too. But her fervor soon faded, and we've not found another that enthralled her that way.