We’ve all heard this expression before. And while it usually conjures images of homes in just the right spot, the idea can easily be transferred to the reading life you and your family create.
In the same way that homes can increase or decrease in value because of their location, switching up the places you keep books can make reading more appealing or feel special.
Real readers know a good reading spot when they see one! Here are three ways to boost your reading real estate:
- Take an existing space and add books.
- Does your backyard playset or treehouse look lonely due to lack of activity? We all know sometimes kids get bored with these spaces after awhile. Try bringing a few blankets and a bin of favorite picture books.
- Every kid loves to build a fort with all the blankets and pillows you own. But what to do after the fort is made? Add books or magazines or even some blank paper and a flashlight!
- Where do you spend time killing time? When my nephew was little, he’d wait for big brother to get off the school bus on this porch swing each afternoon. By sticking a basket of books there, you’ve created an invitation to read. Bonus points if your kids wear bathrobes all day!
- Make a new reading location from an unused space. You know that corner in your daughter’s room between the dresser and the wall, the place where the cobwebs and dust bunnies like to hang? Scooch that dresser over a foot, throw down a blanket, pillow, and flashlight to create new reading nook! My kids were once found in the base of the linen closet with flashlights and books. They called it their “reading nest.”
- Point out locations where you’d love to read. This is not only the most important, it’s the easiest! One of my mom-isms goes like this: “Wouldn’t this be a great place to read?” Like the rocking chairs in front of Cracker Barrel or a park bench. Last week when all the Raising Real Reader kids were in Michigan together, we explored the Fernwood Botanical Garden in Niles. I bet you can’t guess what I said when we wandered through this cool willow structure? Yup! “Wouldn’t this be a great place to read?” It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any books in the moment. You’re simply getting your children thinking about the act of reading.
When you develop a habit of pointing out interesting places to read, you’re telling your child that a) you are a reader and b) real readers do their hobby anywhere and everywhere.
Think of it like this: if I were a golfer, I’d have fond memories of some favorite courses where I had practiced my hobby. My most memorable experiences may not be chipping balls in my backyard or at the local driving range, but golfing in scenic and challenging locations. I know that as a reader, some of my favorite memories of my hobby include reading on the banks of the Flathead River in Montana and reading in my dorm room at Nerd Camp after a long day of professional development.
I know my mom-ism is sticking because when my kids first saw our new house, my 8 year-old said, “Now that’s a porch where I’d like to read.” She was right!
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