I have a daily argument with my daughter about reading.
No, it isn’t to get her to do more of it. There is nothing my girl likes more than to curl up with a good book. She has a book with her every moment of the day, at the base of the tree she’s climbing each afternoon, on the rim of the tub she’s soaking in each evening and beside the plate of waffles she’s eating each morning.
Our argument is about what she’s reading. More precisely, what she’s reading again.
My 9-year-old has read only Warriors books for the past several months. I have nothing against the books themselves. On the contrary, I love how rich they are in plot and character development, and the fact that I don't have to worry about content delving into topics I'm not ready for her to explore.
But each time a new book in the series comes out, she devours it within days and then goes back to book one and reads the entire series again.
We go to the library and are surrounded by thousands of amazing middle grade books. But she grabs another book about clans of fighting cats. "This is what I want to read," she simply says.
This isn’t her first literary obsession, and it isn’t something I can honestly say I can’t relate to myself. After all, I read each and every Sweet Valley High book and had quite the crush on Legolas and Aragorn after reading "Lord of the Rings."
Before Warriors, my girl couldn’t get enough fairy and folklore books (the grimmer, the better). And before that, she loved Harry Potter, “A Wrinkle in Time,” Anne of Green Gables and anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
And all this same old, same old reading doesn’t seem to affect her imagination. Check out this answer she recently gave to a class test. How'd she come up with a fire-breathing peacock to Mars?
So I know eventually she's going to pick up a new book. But, as a writer, I can’t help but think of all she’s missing until then. “Don’t you want a new story now and then?” I ask.
She shrugs. “When I do, I just write one.”
And that pretty much shuts me up.
What were your favorite childhood books, the ones you could read again and again and always get something new from it?
Top contenders for me were “Where the Red Fern Grows,” “Tuck Everlasting” and “Watership Down.”