Teachers can spend time very little time on reading for fun. Megan commented on a previous post, "As a teacher, I'm fighting a losing battle to keep these kids interested in reading. On a survey that was sent home, only ONE parent circled yes on "Does your child read for pleasure?". ONE! And unfortunately, with the focus on testing, reading instruction isn't too exciting."
First Book, a wonderful charity that gives children books of their own, has oodles of research on how much more likely children are to read (and be literate for life) if they have age-appropriate books in their homes.
If you're a parent reading an author's blog, you're most likely the kind of parent who fills your home with books, knows your local librarian by name, and has a favorite neighborhood bookstore. But I bet your kids have friends whose parents aren't the reading sort. You can help them, too.
So, let's challenge ourselves to give books. This Christmas, buying gifts for your children's friends? Let your kids choose books for those gifts. For neighbors, friends, teachers, family: give books. You can find $3 books in bookstores (mass market paperbacks or early reader books), or go all the way up to a $30 hardcover for nicer gifts. There are so many to choose from. Let's make it a literary holiday. Get books into people's hands! Flood the earth with stories!
Someone directed me to this illuminating blog by an editorial assistant on the state of publishing in this economic climate.