So yeah. Another post talking about books. Books. Books. Books. What can I say, I have books on my mind. This one isn’t about my book though.
This one is about books and babies.
Did you know that there are six stages of learning to love books? If a baby completes these first six stages they will have a lifelong love of reading.*
*I made that up. No guarantees.
Stage One: Consumption (No, not the kind that Nikolai Levin has. The eating kind.)
They are experimenting here. Is it tasty? Edible? How much of it can be shoved in my mouth?
The bad news is that once babies realize that books aren’t good for eating they get angry.
Stage Two: Destruction
This stage is why board books were invented.
Still though, they always manage to find the paper kind. And usually one of your favorites.
However, eventually the baby will meet a book they’d like to get to know.
And they like it.
They really, really like it.
Stage Three: Addiction
Baby needs a fix and nothing else will do.
If you are lucky you won’t hate the book. At least not the first 50 times you read it.
It is okay though. This is just their gateway book.
Eventually they’ll learn that other books are groovy too.
Stage Four: Accumulation
You may even find yourself negotiating to read less books. “No honey, just pick out six tonight. Not six hundred.”
Baby knows and loves these books. And I mean really knows them.
Stage Five: Memorization
They will catch you if you try to skip even one word so don’t even try it. And if you ever edit, modernize or censor books and can’t remember your personal version you are screwed.
Yep, baby has become a connoisseur. An aficionado.
But with this knowledge comes a price.
Baby is now a snob.
Stage Six: Pretension
Not exactly snobby about books. Snobby about the way books are read.
Sometimes you will be incapable of replicating a particular book character’s voice. Especially if someone else (like say a spouse or grandparent or neighbor or an imaginary friend) invented such a voice and you’ve never actually heard it. Good luck. If not handled properly, baby will throw the book across the room and you’ll temporarily be back in Stage Two.
Keep on truckin’ down this path and you’ll guarantee* a lifelong love of books.
*No guarantees in parenting, remember? Sorry. Hey, at least we all tried.
Honestly, we’re in a book rut right now. What is your current household favorite? Or if childhood would not be complete without reading _______, what is it?
We just read George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl and they loved it. That book was recommended by someone here in the comments months ago.
Which leads me to…
YES, I read the comments. All of them. Including all 1000+ on my last post. Thanks for the overflow of support and camaraderie. You guys rock.