Yes, there is a secret reason why I never worry about my late reader… or if my kids are “learning anything.” I’ll tell you…

Cinder turns eleven–tomorrow–and this is the first year that he would call himself a reader. And he still reads nowhere near as well as his eight-year-old sister–who’s powering through a chapter book or two a day–or, I expect, if we had him tested, “at grade level.” And given a choice, he prefers to be read to or to listen to an audio book than to work through a book himself still. But I’m so chill. So chill, you don’t believe me. I know you don’t, cause sometimes you–some of you–tell me so. So yes. There’s a secret reason why I’m so chill. But I’ll tell you. In pictures. Come on.

This is what you see when you walk into our living room:

Books on Shelf1

That bottom shelf, that’s one of two library books shelves. It looks empty-ish, because the rest of the books are… well, you’ll see soon.

Next shelf:

Books on Shelf2

and the next one:

Books on Shelf4

Across the room is my secret murder shelf:

Books on Shelf3

(My favourite bookshelf in the house, so I’ll tell you what’s on it: mostly Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Rex Stout, and Raymond Chandler, sharing space with P.G. Wodehouse, Jane Austen, and the Anne of Green Gables books. And, most prominent, Flora’s Picture Speller for Young Writers, which she uses to help her play Scribblenauts and craft in Minecraft. Because loving books and loving videogames are not two incompatible traits, mamas.)

But this is not the full secret. Or even the most important part of the secret. Come on. This is the really important part. This is the bookcase in Cinder and Ender’s room:

Books on Boys Shelf

…and these are the books currently living in Ender’s bed:

Books in Ender bed

…in Cinder’s bed:

Books in Cinder Bed

…under Cinder’s bed:

Books Under Cinder Bed

…and between the beds:

Books Between Beds

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How To Grow Up and Rule The World is a terrific, slightly evil book for Cinders. If you have a Cinder in your life, introduce him to it. Although at your peril…

Want to come visit Flora’s room? The secret continues there too. First, step over this one:

Book on Flora Floor

Don’t sit on this one:

Book to Pack

or this one:

Book on Flora Couch

But apparently you can sleep on/with this one:

Book at Foot of Flora Bed

…and this one:

Book CH Under Pillow

… and, of course, as any Bone fan well knows, this one:

Book Behind Flora Pillow

There’s more. So much more. But I left this in the kitchen:

Book on Chair2

…and I need to get back to it.

I was actually thinking of taking some time today to put at least some of these books back on their shelves… but you know what? I’m gonna read–to myself, and then to my kids–instead.



P.S. On Nothing By The Book this week, we defend Facebook. Check it out: Tongues Off My Facebook.

8 responses to “Yes, there is a secret reason why I never worry about my late reader… or if my kids are “learning anything.” I’ll tell you…

  1. I so love this post. My son doesn’t really read either. And I don’t care, but my family does. We read so much in this house, that I am not worried either, but it is so hard for traditional schoolers to understand.

  2. To people who love to read, who love books, the idea that someone would “choose” to not learn — to not want to — to read is alien. Right? Doesn’t enter the picture. Of course he wants to. Of course he will. When he’s ready. I think to people who don’t really like to — who don’t read much — who don’t love books — they come from a place of fear. And act accordingly.

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  4. Love this, as always. Here’s a story — my husband started reading late. He did Montessori and hate reading and loved math, so by the time he went to Catholic School in 2nd grade (YES!), they had to force him to read, but he was already doing 4th grade math. Fast forward to today… I always make fun of him because he is such a slow reader, but the truth is he is a voracious reader — of graphic novels, of blogs and news sites, of non-fiction books, of AUDIO books, which he processes so much easier than a book. I love to read. I love the feel and smell of a book. But I can’t listen to an audio book, I just can’t follow it. My brain doesn’t work that way. His does. To each his or her own intelligence, right? The end. xo

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