I’m pretty much willing to do anything to build up my kid’s library. Without overstating it, I think reading is magic. It has been a constant in my life, from my leisure activity to a huge component of what I do for a living. I read for fun, I read for work, and I read anything. I have preferences, but I really will read anything as my list of what I read last year and this year so far can attest. Reading is something that I want to pass on to my child, but it isn’t something that I want to force. You can’t force someone to like to read any more than you can force a homebody to enjoy Beale Street. They might make outward signs of compliance, but it won’t stick. We read to our baby everyday in the hopes that he will grow up equating reading with comfort and happiness. Even if he isn’t quite as rapacious as his mother, I hope that he will know the pleasures of a good book.
Part of that challenge is making sure that he has lots to choose from. I know it doesn’t matter too much right this minute, but before I know it, he will have preferences and express them (loudly if heredity has anything to do with it). When that day comes, I want him to have a fully stocked bookshelf that can take him wherever it is he wants to go. He is signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, one of the most generous and effective nonprofit enterprises I have come across. We did the Wheaties family challenge last fall and got him some books for when he is a bit older. In that spirit, we are doing the Memphis Public Library’s Baby Bingo program. The library does great summer reading programs–I’m actually doing the Explore Memphis program for adults–and the bingo card is the part of the program for infants and toddlers. Each time we get a bingo, we’re entered into the end of summer drawing for a gift card. When we fill up the card, he gets a free board book.
A free book for something we are already going to do anyway? Win.
You can sign up at the children’s desk at any Memphis library branch.