>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.
>We have reading time at our house too. But instead of at bedtime, it's in the morning and that way it can go on as long as we want! My boys read in the Momvan, too.
>Our library also has audio books that can be downloaded onto MP3 players. This is cool.