Since my children were very young we have read to them and have always kept their bookshelves full. While we may not always spend our money on the latest toy, my children know that Mom will always buy a book.
When they were little part of their bedtime routine was to read a book or two. When Jessica was asked to grab a book and cuddle up in bed it wasn't uncommon for her to come with a stack of them anxiously expecting each and everyone to be read. I can remember the afternoons that were spent as Jessica and I read our way through The American Girl books and the evenings where my husband and I would sit on the floor of the boys bedroom and read to them The Chronicles of Narnia. I hope that they remember those hours they way I do.
I have had more of a struggle getting our boys to read now that they are older. Perhaps once all the book reports were assigned and books not of their choosing had to be read, it was no longer fun. Sam is 12 1/2 years old and wrapping up his last days of his first year of middle school. In his reading class this year, each student was required to keep a reading log. Any kind of book can be read and the students are graded for the amount of time they read each month. Extra credit is even given to those that go above and beyond the required amount of time. As the children have gone through elementary school, they have always had some kind of reading log and up until this year, the reading log has been far from fun and certainly wasn't "encouraging" my boys to read. Last year, our son, Ben filled his reading logs with "Peanuts" and "Calvin and Hobbs" because they were the only books we could get him to read. Thankfully, the teacher agreed that this was okay because he was reading after all. For whatever reason though, the reading bug has gotten a hold of Sam lately...
All it has taken is for Sam to find some books that he has truly enjoyed reading and I also think that once he found some that he liked and actually finished, there was a sense of accomplishment for him. A couple of years ago, I found this book at our local Christian bookstore called Isle of Swords. It has sat on the bookshelf far too long- untouched and unread. Last week Sam pulled it from the shelf thinking that perhaps he should just give it a try.