It’s never too early or too late to start! Full disclosure: I am a book lover so maybe it’s in the genes. But I think so much of it had to do with how I was raised. I have fond memories of going to the library with my dad or picking out a book from the book store—the one thing I could always count on whenever we went shopping.
Here’s how to raise your children to love books, like what my dad did for me (I ended up majoring in English!) and how I’m raising my son (who already loves books).
Create an environment that’s conducive to reading. We have children’s books everywhere. They’re in Franco’s bedroom and in the living room. They’re stacked up next to his potty. There’s a tote next to his car seat full of books. There are just as many children’s books at my parents’ house as there are in our own home.
In the morning, when we’re all in the car, I sit in the back with Franco and read to him.
Whenever he goes potty, he reads books. I ask him if he’s done and he says, “No I’m taking my time,” as he turns the pages of a book.
At night, we always read a handful of books to end his bedtime routine.
Also once a week, he goes to story time at the library with his nanny.
As much as possible, I try to get books for Franco from the library. It’s free! Whenever I come across a list like “Top 100 Children’s Books” or “The 50 Best Books for Toddlers,” I take those titles, search for them on the library database, then request them. There are always a ton of books on hold for me every week. I review them for age-appropriateness and check out the ones that fit the bill. While I’m there, I also ask the children’s librarian to pick out a handful of books for my 3-year-old son. That is what they’re paid to do. Use them as a resource.
We have a fantastic used bookstore in Alameda called Rocket Reuse. I buy books and sell books. We currently have an $87 store credit because I’m constantly clearing out my book collection. And there’s still more to go. I’ve amassed so many books in my lifetime and I’m slowly letting go. There’s a fantastic kids section and there’s also a bin in the back for free books which are perfectly fine. These are great for the car!
I also decided to sign up for a book subscription. I place value on age-appropriate, curated books and honestly I don’t have all the time in the world to research. I went with Bookroo, which specializes in hidden gems rated by Stanford alumni families. Each of the books are gift-wrapped which really elevates the experience! Here’s Franco opening up last month’s shipment.
Lastly, Bookaboo is a cute Amazon video show that follows a rockstar named Bookaboo who has to have a book read to him before he performs on-stage. Celebrities like Will Smith, Sting, and Carla Bruni have appeared on the show to read to Bookaboo.
For adults, here’s a link to my favorites.