Want To Raise A Reader?

Updated: Jan 13

Then stop insisting that your children must read your book recommendations.


#choiceofbooks #librariesacrossIndia #children'sbooks #library


It is so easy to assume that children don't know what is good for them in terms of books. Books that we have grown up are something that we are familiar with and hence it becomes a no-brainer that we get the same books for our children. When they ask for something else, we might say something in the lines of "Finish reading all of that and then we will get you the one you are asking for." Sounds familiar? If yes, you are not alone. From an adult perspective, it is so simple. Those books are good. Read it and your language skills will improve. Plus money has been spent on those already.


In an interview with Ananya Ganesh, a young teen writer and the author of books, 9 Chocolatey Bites & Dancing Kites, when asked what she thinks about some children not taking to reading, she said, "I think, most of the time children say they don’t like to read, because they haven’t been exposed to the genre that they would enjoy. It is indeed very hard to gauge the kind of reading experience a young child would like, but once you throw them into the right one, they’ll be hooked. Let them take their pick, and they will love it, someway or the other, in the end." Ananya is a voracious reader herself. Her opinion gives us something useful to think about if we want to rethink our strategy to enable children to develop a natural interest in reading. That's the only way they will eventually become life long readers.

"I think, most of the time children say they don’t like to read, because they haven’t been exposed to the genre that they would enjoy. It is indeed very hard to gauge the kind of reading experience a young child would like, but once you throw them into the right one, they’ll be hooked. Let them take their pick, and they will love it, someway or the other, in the end." - Ananya Ganesh, author of 9 Chocolatey Bites and Dancing Kites.

Access to a good library is what it takes to give a child a chance to freely explore the world of books.

Nanditha* (Name changed to protect privacy) a 12 year old, struggled through the first book in the Harry Potter Series as someone suggested that the book is good to develop English language skills. While it is true that reading beautiful books such as the Harry Potter series will help in enhancing comprehension, vocabulary and language skills, it becomes a daunting experience for the child, if he/she is not ready for a book like that as their reading level or even interests do not match the book. Nanditha did not enjoy reading at all until her mother found her way to a local library run by an amazing woman, in Cuddalore. She had stocked a variety of books in the small space available to her, in an inviting manner. What's more, she listened to Nanditha's interests and helped her choose books that suited her interests. Nanditha came home from her first visit to the library looking excited. She did not wait but sat down right away to read the book. There was no turning back. She went back to the library several times to pick books on her own. Her self confidence grew and she even started to recommend her favourite books to her peers.

...she listened to Nanditha's interests and helped her choose books that suited her interests. Nanditha came home from her first visit to the library looking excited. She did not wait but sat down right away to read the book. There was no turning back. She went back to the library several times to pick books on her own. Her self confidence grew and she even started to recommend her favourite books to her peers.

The children's books market is flooded with books for every kind of interest. Buying them may be less practical for various reasons. But that needn't be a hurdle in raising a reader. The librarian community in India is vibrant one. Many of them are run by avid readers who choose books with care and are always willing to help your child pick a book that suits their specific interests. Some of them have even made it a lot easier by delivering books of your choice at your doorstep. Thanks to Treasure Trove - A Library for Kids, Gurgaon there is a list of libraries and their contact details neatly compiled on their page. Click here to access their list of libraries across India. If you don't find one in your city, you will find some who deliver across India.

Libraries whose book recommendations we have loved are:

 

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