Saturday, 23 May 2020

Reading With My Six Year Old | Autumn + Winter

As well as documenting my own reading here, I also love talking about reading with my son, Alexander. Alexander is now six years old and still holds a keen interest in reading... He is coming along with his own reading, but definitely much prefers to be read to, rather than being the reader. 

This post covers (well a general gist of) our reading during the past seasons of autumn & winter. I have also included a week of bedtime stories during this period, as this is one of our favourite times to read together; winding down from the day. Anyway, on to the post...

Alexander has a collection of Mr Men & Little Miss books that were actually passed on to him from Nathan's own childhood - the collection is not a full one, but it is pretty significant, and we have added on to it a little ourselves. 

There was a period of time during autumn & winter where I don't recall us reading ANYTHING BUT Mr Men & Little Miss books! You know when you're at the point of over reading books that you try to subtly suggest others - we were well and truly at that stage! Ha!

Alexander finds this collection of books a lot of fun and loves spotting the characters that aren't the title characters, and remembering their story - for example, Mr Impossible in Little Miss Naughty.

After the slight Mr Men obsession, this then transferred to his collection of Paddington books! Alexander says he loves all the Paddington books, but seems to favour the original story of the Browns and Paddington meeting, as well as one where they go to the circus, and one where Paddington and Mr Gruber take a trip to Little Venice in London. 

Each Christmas we gift Alexander with a bag of books alongside his other presents - this is the main way that his book collection grows. The bag is full of books pertaining to Alexander's interests, with a mix of fiction & nonfiction. This year the bag included more books in the Zoe's Rescue Zoo series (Alexander loves this chapter book series), some books about the continents and also some wonderful large (& I mean LARGE) nonfiction animal books: The Magnificent Book of Animals & The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures. These books feature a different animal on each double page spread, with fact files and the most beautifully detailed illustrations; they are a joy to read.

(Ocean Creatures is the book pictured in the opening image of this post)

During the February half term we were able to take a trip to the library together, with Alexander picked out a bunch of books. Many of Alexander's borrows were rainforest focused (both stories & information), and they inspired him to write his own rainforest book: walking through the rainforest, detailing the sights & sounds. Making his own books is something Alexander has really gotten in to recently.


Reading with Alexander is one of my favourite things to do, and I love that I'm able to document that here.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

A Day of Reading | Sunday 3rd May

7.40am | I start the day with my morning tea in hand and the first page of The Library Book by Susan Orlean.

I have had this book on my wishlist since Nonfiction November 2018 (2018!), and stumbled across it by chance, just last night, when browsing the digital library system - of course I immediately borrowed it!

I spent 50 minutes with The Library Book, reading 32 pages. These opening pages have really set up the book - Susan Orlean's love of books and libraries is very evident, and she has also described the tragic fire that ravaged the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 - the overarching topic of this book. I am enjoying the writing style of Susan Orlean also... It is detailed and descriptive, whilst remaining captivating. Her depiction of the library on an average day, preparing to open up to the general public, was a particularly immersive & powerful piece of narration.

10.00am | Now & then of a weekend, I like to treat myself to a daytime bath - for me, a morning bath is one of those simple little things that feels like such a luxury. A bath & a book are one of the ultimate relaxing combinations, so of course I took one along with me: A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison, reading 46 pages. This book is the first in a magical middle grade series.

12.05pm | I snuck in a little bit of reading time before lunch, picking up The Library Book again.

'In total, four hundred thousand books in Central Library were destroyed in the fire. An additional seven hundred thousand were badly damaged by either smoke or water or, in many cases, both. The number of books destroyed or spoiled was equal to the entirety of fifteen typical branch libraries. It was the greatest loss to any public library in the history of the United States.'


1.10pm | Returning to The Library Book on page 48. 

I read a further 39 pages. Much was covered during this section of reading, and I really enjoyed learning about the various job roles within the library system, in particular that of city librarian, John Szabo.

3.30pm | I spent some time reading I Never Knew That About Coastal England; this is a nonfiction book I have been happily dipping in and out of for a couple of weeks now. As someone who greatly admires the coast here in the UK (obviously the book just focuses on England), it is quite interesting reading about some of the historical aspects of our coastline.

I read 32 pages in this sitting, which covered three areas of the coastline - Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

5.40pm | Thirty minutes of reading in A Pinch of Magic - an additional 50 pages read. I'm intrigued by this book and look forward to reading more of it over the coming week.

7.00pm | Not my own personal reading time, but one of my favourites that I look forward to daily: bedtime story with my son. Today's book was a PJ Masks one. 

8.00pm | I found myself returning to The Library Book one last time - for about an hour - before calling it a day with my reading. Throughout the course of the day I have read 136 pages within The Library Book.

Not always, but often times I read my nonfiction books quite slowly (for example, the coastal book I mentioned above), however I do see myself flying through The Library Book; it is the kind of nonfiction that reads almost like fiction. I am definitely happy to have finally got round to reading The Library Book, and can see why so many people recommend it!!
Not every day looks like this, but today has been a good reading day.
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