>Amigo is grumpy today. He slept until 11, which is not typical for him. He’s a teenager, but as teens go, he’s a morning person. Sleeping past 10 is unusual for this kiddo. When he’s grumpy, there’s usually a point at which I just get sick of dealing with him and I have to walk away. When that happens, I think to myself, “Thank goodness for audio books.”
We make regular trips to the public library. I get books for pleasure reading (as opposed to professional reading that I do year-round), and he gets books on CD and books on Play-aways. The Play-away is a cool new kind of technology. It’s tiny, the size of an MP3 player. People who check out a play-away provide a AAA battery and a pair of headphones or earbuds, hook them up, and they’re all set to listen. Amigo likes to pick out two books on CD and two play-aways. At the rate he’s going, he might go through the library’s entire young adult collection before summer ends. He’s already brought up the idea of bringing play-aways on road trips because they take up so little space in his luggage.
Our public library is a hoppin’ and rockin’ place this summer. Finding parking is never easy. Frankly, taking the bus is easier. Librarians have mentioned that the hot weather helps; families want to take advantage of the free air conditioning, and if it means the kids are reading more, great!
Amigo is at an age where I have less influence on how he spends his leisure time. However, he still reads. In part, that’s because our summer reading has always been about fun: sit down on the outside swing, enjoy the breeze, read aloud together. I’ve never pushed him to read from a specific book list or topic. Many times he reads the Braille copy and I have a print copy and we ready together. Sometimes he tucks himself into a bean bag chair with an audio book and just enjoys the story.
When a parent asks me, “What should my child be reading?” I answer, “Let them choose.” Choose a book, enjoy the book, and have fun reading all summer long.