Reading in the Aisles

T is feeling better today. No more cold chills. For us, this means monkeys tomorrow! For today we didn’t have any plans, but at 9:30 this morning I started to feel cooped up and a little stir-crazy.
We decided to make a trip to the grocery store even though we didn’t really need anything. We walked there as today is an unusually clear day. T didn’t want to go out today. He wanted to stay home and have a lazy day. He complained the whole time we were getting ready. Once we were outside in the sunlight and fresh air, he was the one jabbering excitedly and skipping along though.
I usually totally avoid any type of shopping on Saturdays (hence the shoes yesterday). The stores are insane. Packed full of frantic people who are rushing around in their efforts to provide food for their families for the next week. The customers and cashiers are usually unbelievably rude on this one crazy day of the week too. It usually doesn’t help that when I’m there on a Saturday it’s because I’m in the same state of mind as the other shoppers.
Today I went into the store in a great mood. My kids were happy and we didn’t have anything else we had to do for the rest of the day. We started our shopping trip on a special note too. New books all around! T was very careful picking out the perfect book (more difficult for him at the grocery store than a bookstore since all the books are English) and L quickly picked out the next book in his current series. L was so excited he began to read right away.
L was doing a great job staying with us through the busy store with his nose stuck in the book so I didn’t have any problem with it. As we got to the end of the dairy section, L waited beside the cart. The aisles at our grocery store are pretty wide…you can easily maneuver 3 carts side by side past each other, and there were no other carts in the aisle when I pulled mine over to the side. That didn’t stop someone from parking their cart directly opposite from mine while I was checking out the prices on cheese though.
Of course this meant that the next hurried shopper had to go right down the middle of the aisle. L had his back to her and didn’t know she was coming. She snarled out an “Uh? Excuse me!?!” L turned (a little surprised) then stepped back to the back of our cart, burying his nose in the book once again. The woman stopped in the center of the aisle (now blocking the WHOLE aisle and anyone else trying to get through) and stared.
“He’s reading! He’s reading going through the grocery store!” She turned to me “How are you making him read?” I simply shrugged and replied “He likes the book. He wants to read it.” She walked away still muttering “reading, he’s reading…”
I remember reading through the stores when I was a kid, I remember other kids doing the same thing, but after that one run-in at the grocery store I realized that I haven’t seen it in a long time. Thinking back, I remember books being read in the grocery store, at the mall, in the park, at the doctor’s office, in the schoolyard, on the bus…pretty much everywhere. When was the last time you saw a kid reading in public? I honestly can’t remember seeing any child reading in public (except mine) in a LONG time.
I see kids playing video games, playing on cell phones, playing with toys, whining about how bored they are, etc ALL the time. I know that a lot of kids don’t like to read, most prefer video games over books any day. I just don’t understand how this came to happen.
My boys view a new game as a great thing, sure, but a new book is just as exciting. Even more so when they get to pick out their own and it’s not something they have to share. They definitely own more books than games but will never say no to another, especially if they get to choose it themselves. I just wonder when and how children reading became such an amazing thing.
My boys read. It’s not the only thing they do. It’s not usually their first choice of activity, but it’s also something they don’t view as a big deal…it just IS. And when we go out, for the record, I don’t MAKE my boys read.
Why has reading disappeared from the aisles? Why is it amazing to see a kid doing something now that was so common 20 years ago? How can we put the reading back into the aisles, the parks, onto the busses, into our children’s everyday lives?

No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!

Jules

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2 Responses to Reading in the Aisles

  1. supergrammy says:

    I remember someone complaining about how much you used to read. He thought there was something wrong with you because you would rather read than watch what he had turned on the TV. None of his kids are readers, but all of ours are. I’d rather be a reader.

  2. Pingback: MY Library | The J85

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