R is for (non) Readers

Some are born readers, some achieve being readers and some have reading thrust upon them... And then there are some who refuse to read even if it's thrust and thrust and thrust upon them..yeah that would be my twins.

We live in a house surrounded by books. I read. I have always read since we were kids. Our father would get these inexpensive Russian books for my sister and me and we would devour them within hours. Then we discovered Noddy and Enid Blyton and there was no looking back.. Amelia Jane, Malory Towers, St Clair's, Faraway Tree then on to Famous five, Secret Seven..... It was like unlocking a treasure chest. We'd wait for our weekly library period at school. We were issued two books ( a fiction and a biography). We'd read them at supersonic speed and then exchange with our friends before the week was through.

We'd read during tiffin break, during the bus ride home, over lunch and at bedtime. Classics, comics, thrillers, historicals... I read them all.

When I got married it was wonderful to find duplicates of my favourite reads in The Husband's collection, even though he is more of a non-fiction reader. Our bookshelf at home is nothing if not eclectic.

Since when the twins were babies they have absolutely loved stories. Beginning with Bubbles and Bruno I exhausted all the Doras and Noddys. I picked up stories from the Panchatantra. I trawled Indian mythology for interesting stories. They knew the Ramayana by the time they were three. And then tales of Lord Krishna and Hanuman.

I told them interesting anecdotes from famous scientists' lives.. Archimedes and Newton.. Einstien and Edison. I even told them bits of Harry Potter.. broke up bits of the story like episodes. They loved it. And still they wanted more so I made up stories, scores of them.

And I waited for the day they would start reading on their own.. And nothing.. They just didn't.

I brought them beautiful books.. 'pop ups' and 'sticker storybooks' and 'colour your own story books'. They oohed and aahed over them, they stuck the stickers and coloured the pictures and then moved on. I tried leaving an interesting story midway. They would simply pester me till they drove me crazy and I'd have to read it to them.

Did I overdo the story telling? Maybe. Did I put them off by trying too hard? Maybe. I'd just been so excited and impatient to share it all with them. There really are so many wonderful stories to share. Sigh!

They have crossed their seventh birthday and I am afraid it's already too late. I see hope for H.. He does pick up a book - not so much fiction but books on Dinosaurs and Sharks and other scary stuff (!!) yet I'm happy. N however, seems a lost case. She simply will not read.

One of those rare moments..
Oh I'm still trying and I'll keep trying but I'm slowly beginning to reconcile myself to having a non-reader for a daughter and trying to be okay with that. The thing is kids will be their own people, will have their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes no matter how much we try to mould them a certain way. That's not to say I won't try to inculcate good habits inthem (Rather, what according to me are good habits).. but I have to learn to let go at some point.

It's a tough lesson in parenting, but one I need to learn and reiterate to myself over time.

Linking to ABC Wednesday

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