What I don't see is the one called How to Get Your Kid's Nose Out of a Book and Breathe Some Fresh Air or Something. If I did, I would totally check that one out of the library.
In our house, we're blessed with 5 fantastic kids who love reading. So much that they can hardly ever complete a task without getting distracted and being sucked into a book. For them, reading books is like breathing air: it's an automatic process, and if they stop they'll probably die.
Sure there are worse problems, but living in a house full of kids who love books too much comes with its own interesting set of problems. If you live with our kids, this is what your life is like:
1. Your kids have sustained repeated reading-related injuries. This is why we have a "no reading while going down the stairs" rule. Also why our kids walk into walls regularly.
Left to their own devices, they'll read at the dinner table, while brushing their teeth, or secretly under the desk at school when they're supposed to be listening to the teacher.
2. Nothing is safe from being read. Assembly instructions, boy scouting manuals, junk mail... if you leave it lying around, they will read it.
Then you'll feel like a bad mom when your 10-year-old devours Divergent in a single sitting because you left it out on the coffee table and she thought it looked interesting. Oops.
3. You devise elaborate systems to limit their reading. During the summers, the kids earn points they can trade in for reading time, like some parents do for screen time. Maybe they need this because we don't have a TV, but I don't really know for sure.
What I do know is that without limits, the kids would read until their vision blurs and they pass out from starvation.
4. Your kids mispronounce everything. My voracious readers have huge vocabularies and are excellent spellers, but they've never heard anyone say 70% of the words they read in books.
My daughter recently came to me asking, "Mom, what's a 'deh-butt' novel?" It took me a while to figure out that she wanted to know what the word 'debut' meant. Now I just ask them to spell it for me if they show up talking nonsense.
5. They also say things that are never said out loud, only written. When they're exasperated, my older kids actually say "Hmph!" Surprise them and they'll yell "Ack!" Frustrate them and they'll roll their eyes and moan, "Ugh."
I don't mean that they make the sounds those words roughly approximate. They pronounce them with perfect precision. It's like living in a Peanuts cartoon.
6. You boycott the library's summer reading program. We tried to do it one year. The kids were constantly losing their paper or forgetting to bring it with them. I was a basketcase trying to time their reading (which is like trying to track exactly how long a bird spends in flight.)
Now the librarian doesn't even ask if we want to sign up, because she knows I will say "Nope!" with a smile and continue checking out 50+ books with my kids every week. They love to read, but logging their minutes is the worst. Which leads to another point...
7. You passionately hate school reading logs. I guess every parent everywhere hates signing reading logs. But I really hate it. Every day the kids try to pull one over one me: "But I have to sit here and read for 20 minutes! It's part of my homework!"
My answer to that is always the same: "You've read for hours today before school, both ways on the bus, at free time during class, and after you got home. You've done your reading log, today and every day. Stop worrying about it, I will sign whatever you give me."
8. Your kids speak in British English, even though they've never so much as visited the U.K. Our kids' obsession with Harry Potter deserves an entire post (or maybe an entire blog) of its own, but that's a story for another time.
I think it's enough to say that when I ask how much homework they have, they'll either reply "a bit" or "loads," and when I ask if they're done they'll answer, "Nearly!" Am I the only one who needs Google translator to tell me what the heck my kids are talking about?
9. Books are littered all over the house — along with strange bookmarks. Despite your efforts to keep them corralled on the bookshelf, books are everywhere. Every night you'll feel like the circulation manager at the library shelving the teetering stacks of books you've collected from all the rooms of your house.
And even though you keep a big tray of actual bookmarks right by the bookshelf, the kids will just use whatever random nearby object they can grab to mark their place in their book, such as:
Or, because my daughter is into art, the butts of posable figure-drawing dummies:
Does this sound like your house? Can you relate? Make sure to check out 9 More Signs Your Kids Read Way Too Much for more!