Read and Repeat by Alyssa D. Morgan
Much to the delight of my librarian heart, my three-year-old son loves to read. He has a bookcase full of books that he browses and brings to me read. He’ll sit with a book and point out pictures to me. He will happily pick out stacks of books at the library (once I pull him away from the train set).
There’s just one small problem with my little reader. It’s not even a problem – more of a slight annoyance. I’m sure those of you with toddler at home have run into this issue as well.
My son is a re-reader. And by re-reader, I mean he likes for me to read the same books over and over and over and over again.
I can recite Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear? verbatim.
I cringe when he asks that we check out a certain Thomas the Train books just one more time.
I beg that we chose something other than How the Grinch Stole Christmas or The Grouchy Ladybug as a bedtime story.
I bring him home brand new library books about his favorite things.
And he still requests (and sometimes DEMANDS) we read the same things over and over.
I know part of it is his age. The security of a familiar story and characters appeals to little ones. Many of his favorite books have a lovely rhyme scheme that is fun to listen to. They have lovely illustrations. They are just things he likes and that is simply enough.
Or could it be something else?
I decided to check out some books in preparation for my upcoming vacation. I brought home a stack of six books and once I got them home, I realized something: I’ve read three of them before. I even told myself as I grabbed them off the shelves, “Alyssa, you’ve read this before,” and I still brought them home.
I love to re-read books! I can’t help myself! The familiar stories and characters are like meeting up with an old friend. Even though I’ve read Gone With the Wind five times, I still find something new every time I read it. I find myself re-reading books to prepare for the new release in a series (mainly because I’ve forgotten everything). After watching part of The Red Tent mini-series on television, I remembered how much I loved the book and that I should read it again. I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird many times so I will be able to explain to my son why I named him Atticus. As much as I love to read something new, I can’t turn my back on my old friends.
Just like the genes for dark hair, pale skin, and stubbornness, it seems I’ve passed on the re-reading gene to my son. May he grow up to re-read old favorite and learn to look for new favorites as well.
And if you’ll excuse me, Atticus needs me to read The Grouchy Ladybug…again.
Alyssa D. Morgan is a Children’s Librarian, mother, reader, blogger, and general hot mess. She, her son, and the cat live in Central Indiana. You can follow her blog, www.librarylyssa.com, or find her on Twitter, @LibraryLyssa.