A Dad’s Perspective on Reading

For Father’s Day, I asked my husband, Ben, to write a special guest post for my blog. Ben is an incredible supporter and advocate to our reading lifestyle. I’m so thankful for Ben; he is a wonderful, wonderful dad and I’m extremely blessed to be on this parenting journey alongside him.

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I will be honest with you. I’m not a reader. I believe most people would be surprised to hear that from me. As an Executive Director of a non-profit organization, I am expected to read and to do it often. People in my network are constantly suggesting books to me and I politely say how great that book sounds. Don’t get me wrong; I read plenty of articles on the internet on my phone. My problem with reading is sitting still and concentrating as I flip pages. I’m just not that into it. To some extent, my ability to do that has been ruined by the need to put a screen in front of my face. It’s quite embarrassing for me to admit that.

My famous wife, The Book Review Mama (aka Bethany), has been trying to get me to listen to audio books for years. I was so resistant to the idea. Finally, within the last 6 months I took her advice. I was finally able to listen to two books that had often been suggested to me, ”Start with Why” by Simon Sinek & ”Waking the Dead” by John Eldredge. They were both awesome books that gave me a lot to think about. For the last 3 months I have been tackling learning Spanish through audio book. I may look crazy riding around in my car speaking to myself in Spanish, but it has been so helpful.

I’m not really sure where my love for reading paper books went to. When I was a kid I did love to read. I read my first novel, “Where The Red Fern Grows”, while I was in the first grade. It was a very long book and I felt very accomplished when it was completed. I remember how proud my Dad was of me. He would tell everyone we met that his 7 year old son read a novel. As I moved into the 4th & 5th grade I became obsessed with the “Goosebumps” series by RL Stine. In high school I stuck to reading recommended books, but honestly I mostly read the Cliff’s Notes versions. After high school, I became obsessed with the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. I read them all.

As I became an adult, I would read Christian books and biographies here and there. However, for the most part I stopped reading. While I liked to read for fun, a true love of reading was never cultivated within me. This is why I believe in my wife’s mission of cultivating a love for reading within children. This is why I read books to my kids. Sometimes, when I’m tired and one my children brings me a book to read I say no. On some occasions they will persist until I agree. It is within those moments that I think about the beautiful thing my wife has done for our kids. They LOVE to be read to. Some books we read over and over.

One of the great things that she has done is that she reads them a variety of books. She doesn’t stick to one kind or one series. As I look through my life of reading, I always stayed stuck in one series or genre without venturing to far outside of what I was comfortable with. When I was caught up on whatever series I was on, I would wait for the next book to come out before I read again. I hope that my children do it differently than I did. And the great news is I know just the person for the job, the Book Review Mama (and she is pretty hot).

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