When Reading Books Becomes a Dangerous Habit

Young Boy Sitting with Dog Reading
Image from http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/69800/69898/69898_boy-read.htm. That little reader looks so innocent, doesn’t he? Little does he know the life of addiction that awaits him!

I just read a hilarious article on Tablet by Marjorie Ingall about how to encourage your children NOT to read. My favorite hint is number one:

Do not set aside 15 minutes to read each day.If you set aside 15 minutes to read each day, at bedtime or before bath, you will turn reading together into a habit. You know what kind of people have habits? Junkies.

This is actually something we currently struggle with in the Klempner household. We used to have just one juvenile book delinquent (you know, the type of kid who smuggles literature into their bunks well past bedtime), but we have recently acquired a second, and a third appears to be close on his heels.  Homework is no longer getting accomplished by my second son in the prompt, no-nonsense way I used to love–he’s now forgoing his nightly worksheets, Hebrew fluency practice and spelling drills in favor of reading Tintin, Geronimo Stilton, and Stories of Tzaddikim.

My eldest son will chose to read over eating. Sometimes even over eating pizza. 

It’s probably my fault. I used to one of those slackers who read novels instead of doing my homework. And now, I read instead of doing dishes or scrubbing the bathroom. And sometimes–truth be told–even instead of writing. Maybe I need to re-read Marjorie Ingall’s article.

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