Both Mike and I are readers - we both spent many long summers lost in the pages of our favorite books. We started collecting children's books before we even got pregnant because we knew we would have kids, and we knew they would be readers. We both spent several years working at a bookstore - so our collection is vast. When I was pregnant, Mike would read to me (he read me all of the Harry Potter books) because I was too nauseous to read to myself. Sometimes he would read stories to the little being hiccoughing inside me. When Chloe was born we started reading to her every night, and once Bradley was born he joined in the fun. This is something we have continued all these years pretty much without fail. I even read them the entire Narnia series one summer when they were too little to do much else other than lounge around in their Bumbo seat and Excersaucer.
Our kids have access to books in their rooms, books in the play room, and books in the media room. Every night after bath time, we sprawl out on the floor of one of their rooms propped up on various pillows, and we take turns reading to the kids. Each of them get a base of two books, but they can earn more for good behavior in school, demonstrating good manners at home, random acts of kindness and the like. Sometimes they "read" to us because they have memorized so many of their favorite stories. Bradley likes to tell stories based on the pictures in the books, too. But, over the past year or so Chloe has really started to read to us. She has great decoding skills and I actually have a 50-book set of readers that *I* used in preschool when I was learning to read that she has gone through already.
Tonight she brought home her first book from the leveled book library at her school. It's a "just right" book - a book she can easily read without frustration. She whizzed through it twice and then asked for a harder book.
I can't wait for them to discover our favorites - Gaiman, L. M. Montgomery, Lewis, the Brontes, Moorcock, and oh! all the poetry just waiting to be devoured line by line. And anytime they'd like, I'll be happy to read to them.