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A couple of days ago, I tweeted this:

Here’s the list of reddit’s 100 favorite books. There’s some good mixed in with a lot of not so good, just like reddit, but he wanted to know which of those books we had in our apartment. That, naturally, led me to search through my bookshelves, which lead to this:

My wife is an enthusiast. When she sees something exciting, she commits, and the idea that our son would return to reading in a big way had her tearing through our shelves looking for books on the list to give him. And if there we didn’t have a particular book but did have something else by the author, that got tossed into the mix, too.

It’s dangerous. As much as I love her passion, I know it can over run someone else’s tentative interest in a thing in the same way a hurricane will blow out a camp fire. So we don’t have The Unbearable Lightness of Being but that doesn’t mean you can toss The Last Temptation of Christ on the pile. And you don’t just add some Marshall McLuhan because you think it’s worthy and he ought to be interested. And I’m sorry, but you can’t substitute Dhalgren for Dune.

Anyway, while she’s at work, I’ve gone through the stacks she’s put together and set aside the books that aren’t on the list. Books not on the list by authors who are have been placed nearby, but except when they aren’t. And LOTR… well, I’m not going to bother.

For a few years, he’s hated the idea of reading anything, and did so only for homeschool assignment. Resentfully. Recently, he’s been reading ebooks of Japanese “light novels.” Then he found the list, realized we had the #1 book on the shelf, and grabbed it.

When I gave that book to him a couple years ago, he rolled his eyes, read a few pages, then pushed it away. When reddit recommends it, he’s in love.

And that’s fine. I knew he would turn around at some point. Now we just have to nurture this interest instead of vomiting a reading list on him.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Aug. 11th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
Sounds like maybe he wants the fun of discovery.
burger_eater
Aug. 11th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
But why can't he discover the things I give to him!
sartorias
Aug. 11th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
Because you're teacher *and* dad? I know you're excellent at both, but from the kid perspective that's the known quantity, double authority. Discovery on one's own is part of the pizazz.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )