The Magical world of books

Today is World Books Day, and I thought it apt that I talk about books(as if I don’t do enough of that already) πŸ™‚ But then, this is something I can go on and on about πŸ™‚

One of things I have loved about being in the UK is how reading is so entrenched in the collective psyche of the people here. Long back, husband and I were bemused that one of the major problems being discussed in the news was the fact that children are not reading as much as they used to. They were discussing that these days parents are too busy to read a bed time story to their children. Both of us were bemused because at that time, we were more used to news headlines about political parties and their antics.

I also loved the fact that I was not the only person with a book in public transport. I used to get weird looks in Bangalore when I would wait for a bus or try to read in a bus. I swear! Here, everybody has a book, it felt like heaven. The libraries here, I have said it often enough- are fabulous! They are well-stocked, well run and it is an absolute pleasure to go to a library.

After daughter was born, we got to know about ‘Bookstart‘. Children here receive Bookstart packs at two milestones of their lives – in the first year, and between 3 and 4 years – if I remember correctly. It is a great way of getting children used to books, and stories. Poohi had got it, and I remember being totally impressed. We had already bought books for her way before she got her first pack, but I still found it fascinating. The selection of books were so appropriate, and she loved the books! More than the actual books, what fascinated me was the commitment to ensure that every child had access to books. And I do agree that no baby is too young to hear stories from her parents.

Husband was sceptical when I told her silly stories, or read to her, when she was a tiny thing(she was only days old when I started). Today, however, he is as convinced as I am, that it makes a difference. I am not sure if it makes a difference academically Β – but I can see how much she loves books.

As she progressed through the stages of nursery, and big school, one thing I can see throughout is the emphasis on reading. It is an integral part of the curriculum. Their reading is assessed and the books that they read are upgraded, whenever the teachers feel that the child has moved to higher levels.

And at every stage, you would find measures to encourage the culture of books. Like the travelling book fair that I mentioned. The school has a benefit as well. Every book that we buy, the school ‘earns’ some free books – which is great, for state schools, which are dependent on government funding. Apart from that, it certainly encourages children to pick out books, and read. Like this voucher which entitles you to a Β£1 off your purchases, or get a special edition Β£1 book with it. So even families with lower incomes could use the voucher and get a book for the children..

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This afternoon, daughter was super, super excited when I went to pick her up. She ran all the way to the hall which housed the fair. She did not get the book she wanted, but managed to pick up two other books.

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And here’s the little bookworm, lost in the world of fairies.. And she did not get up from that sofa until she finished reading the whole book πŸ™‚ Two hours after we got back home, she was still engrossed in her books. That, of course, has me, Β beaming with happiness πŸ™‚

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26 thoughts on “The Magical world of books

    • ahh bless her .. How did she manage to sit for two hours like that, I have jsut reached after strating from hinckley to birmingham at 4:50PM.. a 35 mile journey has taken 2hrs and 10 minutes and my kneees are killing me ..

      She doesn’t sit still – her positions change – at times she is upside down reading πŸ™‚ I should take pics of her reading πŸ™‚ But she won’t get off the sofa until she is done πŸ™‚

      and the young one sat like that πŸ™‚ oh ho I went on a tangent here did i not he he he

      Book reading is such a good exercise and a good hobby I wish she never gets over it and continues to read all the time πŸ™‚

      Amen to that :

      • No I dont like the idea of pictures of little ones on a public blog πŸ™‚ so lets wait till she is 16, before you put the pictures … πŸ™‚ I sound like a grand dad now he he he ..

        No no – I meant ‘take pics’ not ‘post pics’ πŸ™‚ I just want to take pics of her engrossed – to show her when she gets older πŸ™‚

        Thats why i dont put of kids in family myself ..
        I normally, blur out her face.. I don’t post her pics with her face visible.

        yes AMEN to that good hobby…

  1. wowwww… its so nice to see that cute little bookworm there.. I can easily fit in Adi there.. She is so much attached to the Magic tree house series now that she will bury her head into the book right after we checkout at library, walk on the streets, reach home in the same way and get settled in the corner of couch.. she will not life her head until she reach the page πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚ All these children seem to be the same πŸ™‚

    I can’t agree more on the support and encouragement school (USA too) provides for developing reading habits in kids.. We also receive book lists to order from school every month. I so love this concept..

    I think it is great, the amount of focus there is, on encouraging children to read.

    We read every night too πŸ™‚ I look at that as the bonding time. The deal is she will read one book of her choice by herself and I will read one to her (esp. I will read the Indian books) πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚ I am sure it must be a very special time for both of you πŸ™‚

  2. What I also love about this country is that reading is not a gender specific or an age specific hobby. Everybody does it πŸ™‚

    Absolutely! Everybody reads πŸ™‚

    I LOVE the libraries here too.

    Me too, Me too!

    And look at Poohi… Precious!
    She is one bookworm!

  3. sigh! I just love the photo of Poohi reading πŸ™‚ I must say Smithu she is growing up too fast as I still remember seeing her pic for the first time around 1 and half years back πŸ™‚

    She is 😦 Too fast for my taste, to be honest 😦

    Yup even we love Libraries here and the awesome programs we have here. err…I guess I too started to tell stories to Sammy when he was a few days old and the husband says that is why the boy talks non stop πŸ˜›

    πŸ™‚ Oh talking too much is a big big issue here 😦 Acc to husband the two of us talk non-stop – he doesn’t get a word edgeways.

    Ps: i love book fairs more than the boy me thinks πŸ˜‰
    πŸ™‚ I think both of us love book fairs just as much here πŸ™‚

  4. Love that pic!! I didn’t even know today was World Books Day. I wish we could make readable books available to all the children in India too, there are so many who can read and would love to read if books were readily available in their mother tongues.

    • That is so true, IHM. Children in India would certainly read more if there were more books readily available in their mother tongue -I think it would make a huge, huge difference. And the overall awareness would rise so much, as more and more children grow up reading..

  5. loved loved loved that picture..

    πŸ™‚ I loved it too πŸ™‚

    you know Smitha for the FIRST time in my life, I am thinking if we should think of settling somewhere else other than India…I would love to have a country care so much for their kids and reading to even send books..awesome! and of course you are a great mom to do all this for Poohi…

    In some ways, I think living in the UK has been great! I feel happy that I was able to give Poohi this sort of a start – and it has certainly widened my parenting skills(and my thinking) as well..

    she will love you for what have done.made a reader out of her for ever πŸ™‚
    To a large extent, I think it is her personality as well πŸ™‚

  6. Awwwww
    I LOVED this post, for obvious reasons! πŸ™‚

    UK sounds like a great state to be in, to get educated in, rather. With my love for books since childhood, I have always felt out of place in school, college, and at work. In the UK, it would have been a whole different story. And, maybe, the teachers would have advised me to take up literature instead of M.Com. πŸ™‚

    The Book Pack is a government initiative, is it? Awesome! πŸ™‚

  7. Sigh! I wanted to post something on Books Day but was confused whether it was yesterday or does it fall on 23rd March so onyl posted my review & said nothing!!

    You know I get those stares that you are talking about. Out here in India reading is considered a TP and is felt as if you gain nothing out pf it. God knows when will the mindset change. I hope it does sooner. Once you move here you will face the big fact that libraries here are not as well stocked. 😦
    And I love that pic of Poohie, she looks so cute! U surely shud be one proud mother!
    Vaise even I have put that habit of reading in Arnav from day one. These days to keep him one place during dinner , I give him a book while I feed him. Such is the habit that when I say dinner jhe runs towards the bean bag muttering ‘book, book’!!! πŸ˜€

  8. haha…i remembered my time …looking at the pic..completely engrossed… and lost in the book-world…waise i still read some of these books..just after some heavy reading…pick up a light fairy tale book and enjoy imagining the world…it feels so good.. πŸ™‚

  9. yep! I hear you!! The libraries here arepretty awesome and some of their day programs are super fun for kids as well as for adults!
    hugs to the little bookworm! She looks super cute! πŸ™‚

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