Reading with children has been one of my greatest pleasures for decades.
At first I read with my own children, but now they are grown, I read with other people’s. I can’t begin to describe the worlds we’ve seen. We are explorers, our way led by libraries.
In the early days of reading with my children it was the illustrations that mattered, each taking us deeper into the stories. Then gradually the pictures vanished from the books we chose. Our imaginations became the artists, and we painted with the print on the page. Now my sons read more than I can ever read, visiting complexities and lives I shall never know. That is their magic, and my pleasure is trying to pass some of that on, although often it is children who return it to me.
They arrive with books that make them laugh, or that frighten them. Books that tell them stuff, or explain. Together we read through them, looking, and unlocking what’s on the page.
The more I do the reading, the more I am in awe of the power of print. No screens, no audio, and yet still the stories unfold.
Perhaps we all need to read a little more. To slow down. To switch off the screens, and the audio. To sit in silence, and turn the pages of a book. It is a kind of oasis, a place shared with others on their own journeys.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023