Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'll Read Yours and You Read Mine

It seems we have had our own family book club going on these last two months or so. As in Eliza, Isaac, and me. It's been so fun to love a book, suggest it, hear and see how much the other enjoyed and even loved it.

(Just a little side note, now that I'm thinking of book clubs. Years ago when Jane was about nine (she's 18 now), she and I were involved in a monthly mother-daughter book club. Each duo would take turns suggesting a book and would host a gathering at their home. We'd discuss the book, engage in an activity or craft, and have refreshments that had something to do with the book or the setting. It was a wonderful experience all the way around- bonding between the mothers and daughters while reading the books together, what it means to plan and prepare for the special hosting night, and the good social experience this provided for our homeschooled daughter.)

It first started with Eliza picking up my old beloved and tattered  copy of Jane Eyre, complete with Ruth Cartright's, (the original owner- I have no idea who this person is) name and charming 1944 inscription on the inside cover. I fell in love with this book when I read it first during my senior year in high school, vowing to name my first daughter Jane. And my Jane did read it, too, and loved it as much as I did. It made my heart so happy to see Eliza enjoying it now. Seeing that she couldn't put it down. Both of us really emotional when she finished it. Almost in tears as she closed the book, looking at me, and all she could say is, "Mom!" and I so proud I could nearly burst, happy that she not only finished it, but loved it.

So that very night while on my date with Keith, browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble, I knew I wanted to buy her her very own beautiful hardback copy in celebration. How could I resist?

Since then, she's been on a roll, reading two other favorites of mine in one month's time: Peace Like a River and The Help. Again, the same type of reaction when she finished them. In fact, the day she finished The Help (this past Saturday), Jane (she read it after I did this summer) took Eliza to see the movie at our local dollar theater. So fun for them both to share this together.

Isaac finally got me to read Harry Potter this month. It's taking me awhile because of my involvement with other interesting books, but I'm almost done. Now I get all the hubbub. Adore. Even checked out Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone DVD at the library to watch soon.

At the same time as all this, Eliza got Isaac first and me second (in the middle of Harry Potter) to read City of Ember (jr. fiction science fiction fantasy). It only took me two days; that's how much I liked it. We enjoyed the movie almost as much as the book.

Even though I'm not reading aloud much these days to my littles (no longer homeschooling them), we're still sharing the love and delight of reading. Bonding over books.

And that makes me very happy.

Have you or do you share books between you and your kids? Which ones and what is your experience with it all? I'd love to hear!


  1. Oh yes...I love this! My girls are little (almost 7 and 5) and we are loving our read alouds. So far this school year we have read Charlotte's Web, Trumpet of the Swan, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Because of Winn Dixie, Babe the Gallant Pig and The Tale of Despereaux. Most of those books have movies and we've enjoyed watching them once we finish the book.

    Earlier this year my husband read the Mistmantle Chronicles to our oldest. She loved them so much and begged me to read them myself. I've read two of them and now have the third. It's exciting for her to see me reading books she has already enjoyed.

    It's a special bond, isn't it?

  2. I have a big smile on my face right now. Jane Eyre is one of my all-time absolute favorite novels and I am so excited to hear your Jane is named after her! My daughter Zofi is named after Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird (in a roundabout way - Zofi is Hebrew for Scout) - another of my husband and my favorites.

    I've thought about a mother-daughter book club maybe when Z is a little older. She is just reading easy chapter books now, but the most fun is when I read to her. We just finished The Fledgling (per Renee's recommendation) and are now reading The Courage of Sarah Noble. I have a huge bin in my basement of classics that I've been collecting over the years from used book stores that I can't wait to pass on to my children. (I've even asked for my Christmas gift this year to be bigger bookshelves so I have room for them!)

    It's so nice to see from your perspective how reading changes as the children get older.

  3. Have you guys read "The Book Thief?" What a book! I was mesmerized by that one. (I think "Peace like a River," Jane Eyre and the Harry Potters!!!--You guys have good taste! I haven't read "The Help" yet, but I'd like to.)

  4. Jill: Those books you've been reading; we've loved them all. Especially the Ramonas. I loved those when I was little. I'm going to have to add that Mistmantle to my library list. You've got me interested. So nice that you're reading all these to your girls. Those memories I have of reading to my kids were the best part of our homeschooling- and probably my motherhood!

  5. Jennifer: I knew we were kindred spirits! Jane Eyre bond! I was curious about the meaning Zofi's name. How beautiful and so special. I love that. The Courage of Sarah Noble was always a favorite of ours. Hoping you get those bookshelves for Christmas! Only homeschoolers can relate on "shelf envy".

  6. Hi Jaemaree! Glad to see a new reader (or lurker coming out of hiding!) I've been hearing about The Book Thief. I'm putting it on my list. Thanks for commenting!

  7. You'll love The Book Thief, I think - I did! Love the idea of family reading together! My taste in books does not crossover with Sarah but we discuss every book she reads (she has a list over 100 now). I pick up some reads that I might enjoy from her and she from me. It's pure fun! At my side table right now is "The Cat's Table" from Michael Ondaatje and one Sarah's favorite authors James Patterson "The Cristmas Wedding" and lots of self-help reads.