My daughter, Clara, has an uncommon love for books. She’s sixteen months old and is utterly fascinated by them.
Tonight I watched her remove a book from your toy box and carry it through the kitchen, into the living room, and over to her tiny green chair. Once there, she climbed into the chair, sat down, placed the book on her lap, and began reading. Surrounded by toys of every sort, she chose to read. As usual.
Later on, she was sitting in my lap, listening to me read before bed. After I finished the dozen or so books on the table, she climbed off my lap and headed over to her book basket. You removed a book and kept walking, stopping on the other side of the room, where she plopped yourself down on the floor and began reading on her own.
She does this all the time. Given a choice, she will often sit and read independently for long periods of time, going through every book available to her before moving onto something else. She will carry books over to Elysha and me and thrust them in our hands, and she will demand that some books be read again and again.
I find it utterly amazing.
I often wonder if it’s been our decision to keep her from watching television that has fostered this love for books. With no other media inundating her life, books may have taken center stage.
Or perhaps she’s simply a genius.
Either way, I’ve been wondering if this love for books at an early age will result in a genuine love for books when she’s old enough to actually read the words.
In other words, is this love for books a sign of things to come?
I asked this question on Twitter and Facebook and most experienced parents seem to feel that it is. If your child loves books at sixteen months old, it seems as if she will likely love books at sixteen years old.
The one dissenting vote came from my sister, who thought that genetics, rather than an early love for books, played a key a role. She wrote:
We never had books as kids (or food for that matter) and we are book lovers so the chances for Clara are very high.
Maybe she’s right. It’s true that we had no books in the home while growing up, and we both turned out to be bibliophiles and writers.
And for the record, despite the caloric challenges of my childhood, I turned out to be a food lover as well.