Round Robin – September – Reading

So, this month we’re considering how one encourages reading in our children – or, indeed – in anyone.

Carrots and Sticks

There are carrots and there are sticks.







I’ve said in other places that I cannot remember a time when I couldn’t read. I know my parents both read and when my mum was blighted by cataract, her very first project after the operation to remove the first one, was a temporary library ticket round the corner here: she stayed with us while she needed drops in her eye. Her mother lived with her in her last three years and was re-reading the Victorian classics in the weeks before she began to fade away.

So, in my own case, example and opportunity were there from the beginning.


Like my mum. I read bedtime stories to my children and was gratified when the oldest child used to sit out of sight on the stairs to listen in (too cool to join in by then) and by the middle one telling me in the morning that the house floated away. “I finished the book after you stopped reading, Mum.”



A – was it a stick was it a carrot ploy? – was that if they wanted to join us in the posh sitting-room at coffee after meals, then they had to bring and read their book.


All my children read and frequently ask for books or give books at present times.






Other groups?

I’m in a book group. I read books I wouldn’t have chosen for myself which is a Good Thing. I take books to parties or supper invitations; and as a weekend guest. I think in the pile of chocolates and bottles of wine, they stand out. I NEVER ask if people read them, however. I always include a book in Christmas Goodie bags. I offer my read and unlikely to be re-read paperbacks to specific places. Occasionally I’ll do a charity coffee morning and ask folk to ‘bring a book, buy a book’ – an idea that has been used again by guests for their own charities.

Christian Aid Scottish Book Sale October


I help every year with Edinburgh’s massive Christian Aid book sale. This year, 2018, over one hundred thousand pounds has been raised to help displaced people. The sale offers a huge selection of books at great prices to avid readers and reluctant readers alike. Its next event is the companion Scottish Books; Art; jewellery and coffee sale. Thursday 25th – Saturday 27th October in St Andrew’s and St George’s 13 George Street, Edinburgh.

There you have it. The message in my own case is basically total immersion. Did anyone else walk a three year-old to school who asked whether thiamine was a good thing? He’d seen the word on the corn flakes’ packet!

Courting the Countess is an Edinburgh regency using the beauty and the beast tale in an inversion. Romance, murder and regency mayhem to lift you out of your mundane.

If you prefer contemporary, how about Anne Stormont’s new book, Settlement?

To discover what my fellow robins think, go here:

Skye Taylor

Victoria Chatham

Dr. Bob Rich

Connie Vines

Anne de Gruchy

A.J. Maguire

Anne Stenhouse

Helena Fairfax

Fiona McGier

Rhobin L Courtright


12 thoughts on “Round Robin – September – Reading

  1. Good fun post, Anne. Only, I thought the stick was a thing to hit the donkey’s hindquarters to make it go.
    You must have a good reading voice, like my elder daughter. When she reads to littlies, I want to listen.


    • Hi Bob, I thought the bread sticks looked more appetising than rooting around in the garden. Irony is children probably enjoy bread sticks more than carrots. I did have a good speaking voice, but age takes it’s toll on everything. anne


    • Hi Rhobin, this is proving to be a very popular topic. Thank you. I took a copy of Kathleen Jamie’s Findings to a dinner last night with some Scottish Tablet. Can’t settle down for a good read without coffee and a little nibble of something. Anne


  2. Total immersion is a good way to think of it. They say that you can tell kids never to smoke cigarettes but if you smoke the likelihood is they will too. They end up copying what they live with. If parents read and are obviously enjoying it, kids can’t help but pick up on that.


  3. My third son, at three, would smile when adults indulgently asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He’d answer, confidently, “An entomologist.” People would give him a strained smile and turn to me, questioningly. “A bug scientist.” He was always my science-y one. These days, with a masters in geology (he changed his focus, but it’s still science), he’s my most voracious reader also. Kids learn what they see. If adults read, they learn to love it also. And if adults are always open to learning new things, they see it as a natural way to be.


  4. I love the photo of the carrots and sticks, Anne! I also love the idea of giving books as gifts instead of wine or chocolates. I always love to be given a book myself. I enjoyed the image of your child listening in on the stairs 🙂 This has been a fun topic to write about, and I enjoyed your post!


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