Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trying to Pass My Whoring Onto My Kids

Hi. I'm Tatted Mom, and I'm a Book Whore.

Man, it's freeing to get those words out.

I love to read. Just as much as I love to read, I love to acquire books that I think I'll read in the future. Many of them I do actually get around to reading. Many of them sit on my bookshelf for ages, and I swear that one day, I'll read them.

My book whoring started when I was a kid. My mother is a Book Whore, too, so I grew up in a house full of books. I spent my summers as a kid volunteering at the library where my grandmother worked, which means I was the kid who would reshelve the books after they were checked in, or sort them and put them on the carts, or leave the back room with a cart full of books to shelve, find a secluded section of the library (usually in non-fiction; no one read non-fiction 20 years ago), and sit in the floor and read the books on the cart before shelving them.

Yeah, did I mention I was a nerd as a kid? Proud nerd here, thank you!

Anyway, growing up, I read all of the books I acquired. I don't think the book buying but not reading starts until you get out and have your own house. My book buying addiction isn't too bad, though. I'm not one for getting books at yard sales (unless it's good as hell), but I do frequently shop the bargain books section at B&N, and recently purchased a few from Goodwill. Most of my non-fiction collection is leftover from when I owned my store a few years ago- everyone needs reference books on witchy spells, Buddhism and healing crystals, duh. Can't get rid of those.

As my kids get older, I've been trying like hell to pass my book whoring onto them. I buy them books from the book fairs at their school, from the Scholastic newspaper flyer they bring home every few weeks, from the bargain section of B&N. And what's the result? No book whores in the making, sadly.

In this day and age of video games, TV, Netflix, 3D movies, computers, tablets, etc, kids don't want to read anymore. They want to be entertained, visually. They don't want to sit still and read a book, and allow their imagination to create a movie for them. It's sad, honestly.

When I was a kid, I LOVED it when my parents got a new washer or fridge, because the box they gave me
to play with was huge and AWESOME! That could be a spy camp, or a space shuttle, or a sled, or a condo in the Bahamas. Nowadays, kids are like, 'Hey, mom, can we take that big box out to the dumpster, 'cause it's blocking the TV.'

Sorry, I get sidetracked in my ranting some days, back to book whoring. My daughter is the closest to being a book whore right now, which makes sense because she's 10 and is an advanced reader. I tried introducing her to the books I read when I was 10- The Babysitter's Club series, the Nancy Drew books... nothing stuck. The Goosebumps series? That stuck. So, because I didn't care what she was reading, as long as she was reading, I bought a crap load of Goosebumps books for her- off of ebay, from discount stores, however I could get them, I did. She's read maybe half of them, but in her defense, she is given 3 books a week to read chapters out of at school.

The Ginger? He has no interest in reading. Maybe it's because he's only in first grade and is still struggling, or maybe it's because he was slightly behind in reading because of all of the bouncing around we did for about a year, but either way, the boy doesn't even like to read the conversation screen in his video games that tell him what mission he needs to do next.

It's gotten to be so much of a pet peeve of mine, that my kids don't read for enjoyment, that I've started making rules- which I never wanted to do. I never wanted to force my kids into book whoring (would that make me a book pimp?); I wanted them to pick it up naturally, through my DNA that makes up half of who they are- the same DNA my book whore sister has, that we got from our book whore of a mom. No video games at all during the week. First rule I implemented, years ago, to get them off of the TV and hopefully into the pages of a book. Now, I'm limiting TV, even after their homework is done and their chores are done. I tell them to go read, and I get huffs and puffs, and, 'Can I go outside and play?' How do I say no to fresh air and exercise? Yes, damnit, go play outside.

I'm not giving up this fight, though, that's for sure. And I do understand with the invention of Nooks and Kindles that one day, books themselves might be obsolete, which sucks, because I like the feel of a book in my hands, not an electronic device. It doesn't mean I'm quitting my book whoring or my pushing my book whoring onto my kids (book pimping- I can't stop giggling about that) anytime soon. It just means I'll have to be more creative. Maybe start a family book club? Get my sister back into book whoring, too. And read in front of my kids. Most of my book whoring is done at the tattoo studio on slow days, and at night after my kids go to bed (isn't that when most whoring occurs??), so maybe if I bring my book whoring to light, they'll embrace it, too.

I will make Book Whores out of my kids... just you wait and see!

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  1. Following from the Thirsty Thursday Blog Hop! Check out my blog and my facebook page if you wouldn't mind!

  2. stumbled onto your blog via the blog hop and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed reading this post!! new follower!

  3. You sound so much like me, but with more ink...on your body, not just on your shelf. Ha...I've had a lot of coffee and have NO idea what my fingers are typing. son was a struggling reader in 1st/2nd, but now (at 16) is a very advanced reader. It happens later for some. My daughter, 13, H.A.T.E.S. to read. Ugh, pulling teeth is easier than getting her to read. It's frustrating, because I love to read. Your opening paragraphs, about acquiring books that you *may* some day read...yup, totally me. I just love to see them sitting on my shelf(s). I'm a used book maven, as in used book stores with creaky floors (I wrote a post about it recently). But, I'm not opposed to buying them and I also own a Nook. Good luck with yo pimpin'...hope it works for you! ;-)

  4. I also love to read, and joined a book club about a year ago. It's 400 miles away, but I drive up every 6-8 weeks anyway because the women are just so much fun.

    Hubs and I had a deal that I wouldn't buy any more books until I either read or donated the ones we have that I haven't read yet. It worked for a while. But, see, now we're planning this trip to Europe and who can do that book-less?

    I love in-your-hands books and I also love my Nook. (I can read library books on my Nook and never have to wait in line!) I think there is a time and place for both.

    My younger brother hated to read until he discovered Artemis Fowl. Then we couldn't get him to do anything else. He was about 12 or 13 at the time, I think, so maybe too early yet for your 1st grader. As for your daughter, I loved Trixie Belden wayyy more than Nancy Drew. Well, that and The Babysitter's Club, but there's no accounting for taste in the early-mid 80s.

    I also hope yo pimpin' works out.

  5. My oldest has been a reader since first grade. He discovered how wonderful reading is all on his own. If we really want to punish him, we make him stop reading. I know. It sounds awful. It works, though.

    My younger two were hooked by Harry Potter. And audio books. Audio books are the way to get them hooked on the written story. They can listen to them while they play video games. Once they really get into the stories, you might be able to start them reading, especially if they can continue a series they're especially into.

    Drop that 1st grader into Piggy and Elephant books by Mo Willems. Actually, anything by Mo Willems is great. They're still my 3rd grader's favorite books.

  6. Wow, thanks for your suggestions. It's a rainy day here, so I'm thinking I'll take the kiddos to B&N and take a look at the Mo Willems books for my son... get him off the Legend of Zelda this morning, lol.