Ssh... Don't Tell Anyone, But...

Alice is reading a book.

I almost don't want to talk about it in case I put the mozz on it, but... She has been reading in bed every night for the last week or so, a chapter or two at a time. It's our old favourite, The 101 Dalmations, which I have read to the girls three or four times, so it is quite familiar. She says the words aren't jumping around as much as they used to; also that the old, yellowed paper makes reading easier, because the contrast between the white space and the print is less.

Last night she had a choice between staying up to watch TV, and going to bed and reading, and she went to bed with her book. Of course, being Alice, she won't tolerate any hint of coercion. I can't tell her to go to bed and read; I can't talk about it to other people (so keep it under your hat, and please don't tell her I told you!) But at ten and a half, maybe we're turning a corner. Maybe.

All I have ever wanted for Alice is that she might be able to partake in the enormous pleasure of curling up with a book, and it has broken my heart that she hasn't been able to do that. Cross fingers - it might be here at last. The sight of her sitting in bed, absorbed in her book, makes my heart flutter with joy. And now all I can think about is, what can I give her next?


  1. I can completely relate to this post, Kate, having two older boys who learnt to read as easily as they learnt to walk, then along comes my youngest who wants so desperately to read but just can't (for whatever reason, it's still unclear). He will be nine next year and is way behind all his classmates despite our continued efforts and those of his teachers, but at least he is no longer saying 'I'm stupid' or 'I don't like reading'. I can't wait until the day he can curl up with a book. Meanwhile, he 'reads' comics voraciously (the pictures not the words): Asterix, Tin Tin, The Simpsons. Whatever he can get his hands on. And we read to him, of course. I will hunt down 101 Dalmations. Good tip. Meanwhile, you might like to try 'Charlotte's Web' next?

  2. Charlotte's Web is a wonderful idea - thank you, Sally!
    I do feel for you (and your son), it's so hard, isn't it, and you feel so helpless. We've tried Al with comics but she wasn't keen - she prefers to make up her own pictures. She has always said, 'I love books, but I hate reading' - and I've always hoped that the former would eventually drag her over the hurdle of the latter. Touch wood...
    Good luck with your son, too. Does he like audio books?

  3. Kate that is the best news. It must be hard to not want to stand in the doorway and stare at her! Her comments about the colour of the paper are extremely interesting. There is still so much for us all to learn about the reading process. Good luck! xx