Why Do Some People Love Reading?


I've had an on-again-off-again relationship with reading throughout my life. As a child I was a voracious reader, reading whatever I could get my little hands on from The Hardy Boys to Archie comics, Roald Dahl to my sister's Baby-sitters Club. I'd even read the backs of hair gel and makeup boxes while on the toilet! High school had recreational reading take a backseat to after school clubs and varsity sports, and college and the first few years working were a blur of new environments, places and people. I've made it a point to read for fun more over the last few years, making attempts to be a more active reader. Since welcoming my son in to the world a year ago, I've been thinking about how to instill in him a love of reading. According to this piece, "three variables have a lot of influence over whether someone becomes a lifelong reader."

First, a child needs to be a “fluent decoder,”...able to smoothly “go from print on the page to words in the mind.” This is something that schools teach, but parents can help with it by reading to and with their kids—especially when that reading involves wordplay, which particularly helps kids with the challenge of identifying the “individual speech sounds” that make up a word.
Second...fluent decoders benefit from having wide-ranging background knowledge about the world. “The main predictor of whether a child or an adult understands a text is how much they already know about the topic,”...
Once those two things are in place, the final component is “motivation—you have to have a positive attitude toward reading and a positive self-image as a reader,” Willingham said.

Time will tell, but I'm using any excuse I can to convince my wife to help me figure out how we can get a room like this:


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