Friday, July 20, 2012

Reading: Nurture vs Nature

As my kids and my sister's kids grow, I take a look at our kids and their preferences to reading. Her kids do not like to read. My mom and I have worked to try and find books to pique their interest, but the unfortunate bit is, if there are more words than pictures, they are not interested.

My kids are younger than hers, but my 3 year old absolutely loves books. When my husband's parents are here, he takes them book after book because he knows they will read to him for hours. Nap and bed time must have a story or two. Or three. Then, of course, every time I write something or are reading something, he wants to sit on my lap so I can read it to him.

So reading is nurtured. Right?

Mmm, I don't buy it. Here's why.

My mom, as interested in she is in getting her grandkids to read, is not a reader. With my sister and I, she didn't read to us. She got us books on tape, though, so the opportunity was there. I became an obsessed reader. I read every book my librarian handed to me. I was part of a book club. Heck, I would read road signs if there was nothing else.

My sister did not like to read unless it was very specific - teens with attitude, dystopian environments, Edgar Allen Poe. It wasn't until she was much older that she began to enjoy reading more, but it's still not a love an definitely not a priority.

So, in that case, was I just wired in a way that made reading easy and fun? As I grew, I wanted to write, too, finding stories in everything, so maybe it was something in my make-up that made me more apt to be able to suspend belief and dive into all those different worlds.

This is a debate that could go on for a while, but I think I'll leave my post where it is and open up the comments.

Do you think reading is more nature, or nurtured? Why?