Toddler Books: Start Your Own Reading Streak

Suzanne Murray
4

children's book
Flickr photo by Muffet
"Is your wife a librarian?" That's the question one of the movers asked my husband a few years ago. He wasn't referring to my prim look or bookish glasses (he never saw me or he would have been convinced), but rather to the boxes upon boxes of books he had to carry. I'm not a librarian, but my two-year-old is growing up in a family that reads. A lot. Fortunately, she, too, loves books.

So when I read about The Streak, a reading ritual that a single dad (who is a librarian) shared with his now full-grown daughter for 3,218 straight nights, I was touched, inspired -- and in awe.

Jim Broznia and his daughter Kristen decided to see if they could read together for 100 straight bedtimes, without missing one. When they reached that goal, they strove for 1,000. When they hit that unbelievable goal, they felt they couldn't stop. And so they continued reading together night after night, year after year (in a school auditorium after Kristen's play rehearsal, over the phone when she went on field trips, in the middle of dates) until Kristen's first day of college when both father and daughter agreed it was time to end The Streak.

As much as I love reading with my daughter, sometimes I just don't have the energy -- one of us is always too grouchy or tired (that would be me). She's just on the other side of two and already I've given up on some of the evening rituals I had naively planned for our wonderful memory-making bedtimes together.

Of course The Streak is about more than simply reading together. It created an amazing bond between Kristen and her dad. They shared a language (quoting from books) and Kristen says, "The Streak was stability when everything else was unstable. It was something I knew would always be there. People kept leaving me, but with The Streak, I knew that nothing would come before The Streak."

The Streak requires lots of discipline, which I'm not so sure I have. It also means that my daughter be into it as well. Right now, she'll love it, but that might not be the case when she's a teen. The Streak would be tough, but oh-so-worth it. I think I'll give it a try.

Do you read nightly with your toddler? Are you inspired to start your own reading streak?

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