Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Submitting your story of reading

Through the Magic Door is an internet children’s bookstore and community of readers with the overarching mission of making it easier for parents and teachers to identify those books most likely to appeal to a particular child at a particular time and with their particular interests such that the child wants to read yet another book. It is our belief that the sustained habit of reading is built by a sequence of books that are just right for a child at that point in time in their life. Our goal is to try and broaden the culture of reading (10% of the population accounts for 80% of books read or purchased today). Through its book sales, Through the Magic Door funds a range of programs and free services which support parents to grow a reading culture in their home and helps them to find the books that are just right for their child.

One of the demonstrated success factors for cultivating a reading culture is for children to see their parents and others that they respect valuing books by reading them. Through the Magic Door is launching a program, of which this blog is a part, where we ask people from all walks of life to identify the books that have been most pivotal in their lives. We hope to have answers from all the range of people doing the kinds of jobs and producing the kinds of things in which children might be interested: doctors, musicians, lawyers, firemen, artists, policemen, farmers, architects, nurses, secretaries, soldiers, mayors, teachers, scientists, politicians, mailmen, astronauts, athletes, etc. The responses of these individuals whom children look up to and admire will be posted on our site on a weekly basis. We hope to establish a sense among children of their being part of a greater community of readers.

At its easiest and most minimum, I would appreciate it if you might take five minutes to jot down the books that you best remember, found most entertaining or that had the most influence on the development of your thinking and character as a child or young person. If you would like to write any comments or observations that describe those books, the context in which you read them, or why they made such an impact on you, that would be most appreciated as I think it adds substance to young readers beyond a simple list. Any suggestions you have of books that you think might be of particular interest to children intrigued by your profession or calling would also be useful in steering them to a greater awareness of the opportunities they face.

We focus on children from newborns to young adults, ages 0 to 18, the time period in which the culture and habit of reading is most easily established. Your memories of books probably fall into three rough categories: Picture Books (ages 0 to 5 or so), Independent Readers (ages 6 to 12 or so), and Young Adults (roughly 13 to 18).

I very much appreciate if you would be willing to help support building a culture of reading by answering any of the following questions and allowing us to post those answers on our site for our members to share with their children. Please let us know how we can get in touch with you.

Which books did you read (or were read to you) as a child that you remember best and why? (picture books, independent reader, young adult)

Which books had the most influence on your thinking and character?
(picture books, independent reader, young adult)

Are there any books you have read to your children which you would recommend?
(picture books, independent reader, young adult)

Are there any books related to your profession or calling that you think children ought to consider reading?
(picture books, independent reader, young adult)

What books are you reading and enjoying today?

If you are willing for us to share your response with young readers, please let us know any biographical information you are willing to share that will give them some sort of context. When (year or decade is fine) and where were you born?, What do you do or what is your profession?, What are some of the highlights or adventures of your life? Do or did you have children with whom you read?

To provide your recollection of books please send an e-mail directly to charles.bayless@ttmd.com or feel to respond in the comments section. I will format it for a post in the blog. If there are enthusiastic readers whom you know whose biblio-biographies you think might be of interest, please bring this to their attention.

Many thanks

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