J A Browne

The Habit of Reading Part Three

The Habit of Reading Part Three

You know when you get new trainers, you suddenly feel like you’re a gym warrior or marathon runner? The result being that you actually go to said gym (or on a run).

And when you get there, you’re really glad you did.

There’s the cardio section and the weights section and the playlist has all the vibes to get you pounding that treadmill.

And you leave feeling energised like you’ve done something great for yourself and you’re well-being? (No? Just me then.)

Optimal Conditions

Well, the same is true when it comes to reading habits. If you create the right environment, it sets you (or, in this case, your child) up in the right environment – optimal conditions.

A place so inviting, cosy and comfy that they’ll want to spend time there… with a book!

When I was a teacher, it was expected that part of our classroom set up would include a book corner aka reading den. A welcoming environment that pupils would want to go to and be in with their chosen book.

Teachers are known for being thrifty so creating a book corner or reading den was often done on a shoe-string – Blue Peter style. Paper, scissors, a cornflake packet and sticky back plastic. We’d create them using whatever we had lying around. Blankets, cushions, rugs we’d scrounged from home or family members. We’d cut out stars and quotes from Roald Dahl and Dr Seuss and the £5.00 budget would be spent on fairy lights.

Now, you might be thinking that your child is too old (they’re the grand old age of 9) and reading dens are for the little ones but that’s simply not the case. Search cosy reading corners on #booktok or #readergirlasthetic and you’ll soon see there’s a whole community of readers out there creating their cosy reading corners.

If a den is too young a concept, then make it a corner and strip it back. Search on Pinterest or IG for ideas. It can be very simple, including things like

  • a comfy chair
  • some cushions
  • blankets
  • a desk lamp
  • a small coffee table or even a stool

The table and stool are important because it’s where you and your son or daughter can create their #tbrpile – a stack of books waiting to be read.

Make a thing of it, too. BookTok and IG are all about This month I’m reading… My tbr pile… Currently reading… This is a mass generalisation but it’s definitely more girl-facing content and ideas, but it doesn’t really matter.

By creating the right environment, it not only raises the importance of reading in your home, but – like a gym – it creates optimal conditions in which to read. Essentially, a gym for the brain. And as I’ve said before, reading is one of the best things any one can do for their mental wellbeing.

And the benefits of reading for children and young people are exponential.

Image courtesy of tutordoctor

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