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Further Evidence that Keeping Books Nearby Increases Reading Time

We are usually in a bit of a rush on the mornings that my daughter goes to preschool. While she is eating breakfast, I am running around getting her schoolbag ready, putting things in the dishwasher, etc. But this morning, I happened to have a stack of picture books on the kitchen table. I've been logging the books that we read aloud since the beginning of the year, and I hadn't had a chance to enter last night's stack yet (I enter them into a sidebar list using my phone, and then copy them over periodically into a regular page).

Thus, a stack of five books was sitting on the table. My eagle-eyed daughter spotted them, and asked me to read to her while she was eating breakfast. I said: "Just one. I have to get dressed." She picked the most text-dense one (A Baby Elephant in the Wild by Caitlin O'Connell & Timothy Rodwell, upcoming from @HMHBooks). 

After we finished that one, she managed to finagle two more books out of me: Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage and A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead. We ended up being about 15 minutes later for school than I might have hoped.

But, being the aspiring mother of a young bookworm, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, guess I should keep a bigger stack on the table for days when we don't have to rush off to school." It's not like I haven't seen this recommendation in lots of places ("keep books in the kitchen"). It's not like I've never read to my daughter during meals. We just haven't made it a habit. (Truth: I am addicted to reading the paper.)

But this morning's performance really drove this point home for me. Breakfast is an opportunity for squeezing in some extra reading time. It's a chance to listen again to the book that she fell asleep to last night. It feels like a special treat.

As a side benefit, my daughter ate a better breakfast than she usually does, because she was trying to show me that she wasn't finished eating, so I would keep reading. 

All in all, further evidence that if you keep books handy, everywhere, you are bound to end up reading more. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate.