Beatrix owns at least a hundred books. Possibly more. Real books. Picture books. The kind five-year old kids have. Despite this age of tablets and e-ink, nothing has really matched the real thing for her. Most of the reading she personally does, or the things we read to her, are physical books.

Yet, while we have plenty of real books around the house ourselves — shelves upon shelves of them in our front entryway and the small library/den we have — these are all books we have already read. Most purchased before the age of iPads and Kindles. The books we actually read, the majority of any reading we do, are mostly on screens now. And though my wife and I read a lot, and read a large iety of books, periodicals, and other material at that, how is Beatrix to know?

I mean, we could be doing anything on the screen. And she knows it. She knows the Internet is sometimes on that screen. She knows that movies are sometimes on that screen. She knows that games and music are on that screen.

And, while she does know we can read books on that screen, even books for her, how is she to know the difference? How is she to pick up the physical cues that Mommy and Daddy read a lot of books? That this is what people should do. That it is something we believe passionately in. That it matters. That we believe she should read a lot of books too. Even when she is as old as we are.

I’ve decided that I want to start being very conscious of making sure to read real books as much as possible around her. That she not only see them closed and on shelves but also open and on tables and desks and their places being kept over the arm of a chair. I want to ensure that we have family reading time as much as possible and while one of us is reading a book to her the other is enjoying a physical book of their own.

This way, I hope she can see how important they are and make no mistake that reading books is something we believe in.

Bonus — Here are some of the favorite books (and mine too) in Beatrix’s extensive collection:

Update Bethany actually came up with the nightly family reading time idea, based on my concerns, and we proposed it to Beatrix yesterday morning. Tonight, Beatrix specifically asked for it and I was so excited and proud. Achievement unlocked.

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