How to Raise a Reader

How much do I want to read more? 7/10

Good reading list, from age 1 to age adult.
Good book that encourages you to read to your child.
I still have to read on to get some tips.


School is where children learn that they have to read. Home is where kids learn to read because they want to.
We want to help nurture the love and appreciation of books and literature that you already feel.

A Note from Maria

even in the most difficult moments, I can usually reach for a book and feel lifted up.
On days when I’ve felt as though I have nothing left to give to my kids, I’ve been able to sit next to them and open a book. We start reading, and the world looks different.

Sometimes when my mind starts flailing into some worry about my kids’ current or future struggles, about whether my husband and I have taken this or that right path with them, I remind myself that every book they’ve read or had read to them has left behind some trace, some potential memory, and that those memories build on themselves and lead to other good things.

teacher pulling me aside to let me know that my daughter had been weeping while she read The Book Thief during the class’s silent reading period that day, or the first time my oldest son carried a book—Jeff Smith’s Bone—with him everywhere, reading in the car and in restaurants and in a doctor’s waiting room, or my younger son’s shouts of excitement in second grade when the books he’d chosen from his school’s book fair finally arrived.

“A minute spent reading to your kids now will repay itself a million-fold later,” the author George Saunders once wrote, “not only because they love you for reading to them, but also because, years later, when they’re miles away, those quiet evenings when you were tucked in with them, everything quiet but the sound of the page-turns, will seem to you, I promise, sacred.”

Part One - Born to Read


Reading is an especially good way to connect to your own inner life.
It comes down to this: If you want to raise a reader, be a reader.

Here’s What You Need to Know

Babies Really Do Need Books

The sound of your voice is what counts from day one. The words themselves. The cadence of the sentences.

The Book Doesn’t Always Matter

Research shows that the number of words an infant is exposed to has a direct effect on language development and literacy, whether they understand them immediately or not.
Those words have to be live, in person, and directed at the child. Turning on a video, or even an audiobook, doesn’t count. This is about you reading aloud to them.
Whatever you’re reading, make it an enjoyable moment.

Full-Body Reading

the feel of the pages, the shape and weight of the book, the smell of the glue (don’t go crazy), the visuals of the illustrations.

Don’t Expect Obvious Interaction

When your child makes a noise that sounds purposeful, respond in words.