I admit I was nervous about my oldest daughter. I never saw the day when she would pick books voluntarily, let alone loose herself in one.
But that day has come. It is not as I imagined it either, it's even more delightful because it surprised me. It all started in the car. I get car sick if I read while in the car, so I never thought she would do any reading in it. False. She has been taking books to the car in almost all our trips, and reading them (because we all know how children are constantly carrying things they do not use but loose). The surprising element is her reading taste. At her age, I was all into Enid Blyton and the like. But she is crazy about science books, dinosaurs, a marine small encyclopedia, the I Wonder Why books, and biographies. She is currently reading Marco Polo. It is really strange to see her saying out loud, "oh, the Marco Polo book", when accompanying her father in a trip to the hardware store. And back she exclaims, "I read two chapters", they were interesting, about Kublai Khan and Marco Polo getting special oil from Jerusalem to take it to him. And she is crazy about Job, chapter 22, where God describes Leviathan. She has read it multiple times, she does not seem to tire from it.
She also finds old classic titles in our shelves that I have read to her and her sister, and she reads them. Milly Molly Mandy, Frog and Toad, Amelia Bedelia, Frances' Books... Her sister is reading furiously, she wants so desperately to match up to her, she craves being totally independent, like the two of us. Such an unexpected delight.
Moral of the story. Read to them, read yourself, learn all the time, love books, and they will too.