5 Things Parents of Book Lovers Do Every Day

Here’s how several parents support their children’s reading habits.
Mar 21, 2022

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5 Things Parents of Book Lovers Do Every Day

Mar 21, 2022

Seeing your child fall in love with books is a wonderful experience — and for them, a life-changing one. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen right away: Sometimes it takes the just-right book to captivate your little one’s attention. 

Exposing your child to different genres and formats, like nonfiction and graphic novels, can pique your child’s reading interests. Many children gravitate toward funny books — in fact, humor is the number-one characteristic kids look for in their books, according to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report

Books allow readers to learn about the world in ways they can relate to. For this reason, children are also likely to connect with books that have characters or story lines that mirror their own experiences. Experts agree that the best books for kids help them “feel seen.” 

Once your child finds that just-right book, you can play a part in supporting their weekly reading habits. Whether your child is in the earliest days of education, when phonics learning is critical, or middle school, when the priorities of preteen life take over, it’s essential they continue reading.

Here's what parents of book lovers do every day — and what has worked for their families!

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1. They take books everywhere.

Cara Foley, parent of an 11-year-old and a 16-year-old, says it’s essential to stash books wherever your child goes — in the house, in the car, or beyond — and to make sure you as a parent carry one too, to set an example. 

“I always leave the house with a book, just in case I might need one, and I encourage them to do the same — especially when we have doctor’s appointments,” Foley says.

Younger children who can’t read independently can still pick up context clues from text around them, like on cereal boxes (over breakfast) and road signs (to and from school).

2. They read in front of their children.

You are your child’s best role model. When they see you reading, they are more likely to do so themselves. Whether your go-to is a newspaper or novel, plan to read in the same room as your child — and read to each other!

“My husband and I are big readers, and the kids are very much influenced by that,” says Amanda Henry-Godino, parent to two boys ages 9 and 10. “It’s not unusual for my husband and I to be reading during the day, and the kids see that. It’s awakened them a little bit to acknowledge that you can put your phone down and spend a Sunday morning reading a book.”

3. They use books for "wind-down" time.

Foley says she limits device usage in her household to help her daughters stick to their reading routines, specifically at night. This can help children wind down and become immersed in the worlds that books deliver. Before long, you’ll find them asking to stay up a little longer to read. 

Keep in mind that books with movie tie-ins, like The Bad Guys, can be a huge draw for lovers of visual content.

4. They encourage activities that bring books to life.

Enhancing the reading experience beyond the page can help your child connect with their favorite book in a new way. Significantly, these activities can also help gauge their reading comprehension. 

“Drawing pictures based on book characters and story lines is popular with my kids for ‘continuing the magic,’” says Laura Banfield, parent of a 3-year-old and 6-year-old.

Courtney Rochowicz, a marketer with Scholastic’s e-commerce division, has even recreated scenes from one of her children’s favorite books to make deeper connections to the text — in this case, Magic Tree House #4: Pirates Past Noon.

“We built this imaginary pirate ship to take the reading experience a step further, to a different creative place,” Rochowicz says.

5. They ask kids about their books.

When you are together, start a dialogue about what your child is reading, including what they like about the book’s plot and its characters, and what they think will happen next.

This not only helps inform you of their current interests, but also encourages your child to articulate their opinions and challenge their reading comprehension, like summarizing a plot and remembering chronologies of events.

Talking with your child also makes them feel good, and gives you the chance to build upon their excitement with an eye to future reads. 

“I generally ask my children what they like about the book that they are currently reading and enjoying,” says Kimberly Greacen, a parent of a 4-year-old and 8-year-old. “Knowing what they like about it — for example, the adventure or fantasy of it — is helpful in choosing new books for them.”  

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