Saturday, November 7, 2009

Extreme Reading

Q: What is Frost doing before breakfast?

A: Reading.

Q: What is Frost doing at breakfast?
A: Reading.

Q: What is Frost doing at the bus-stop?
A: Reading.

One thing about Frost that gives me real pleasure is his love of reading. I grew up 'in a family of booksellers' where reading was highly valued. The bookstore my Dad worked in (and my Grandfather before him) is a large store in my hometown named after our family and everyone who knows that town knows the bookstore (and my Dad). The bookstore was founded a few generations back and my Dad still manages the company which now owns a number of branches so it was and is more than a job. In the old store downtown it felt like a community in which everyone was important.

Growing up around a bookstore means you can read a lot (on 'apro' or loan from the store) but only if you look after the books carefully. That means never folding the corner of a page to mark your place, never opening the book wide enough to mark the spine and certainly having clean hands. I still try and keep to these 'book use' principles, at least enough to feel the guilt when I break them. However Frost is a hard book user and ploughs through them with all the physicality his 8 year old body can muster. Here are some pictures of Frost reading his current obsession: Harry Potter. I bought him the box set of Volumes 1-6, and he is almost finished book 4 and means to read nothing else but Foxtrot until he finishes all 7.


tamusana said...

This is amazing. Luca also loves Harry Potter, but is definitely not ready to read them himself. Garrett read the entire series out loud to him, over the span of more than a year. I keep waiting for that tipping point after which Luki will (like Frost) be unable to put a book down. But he's far too contented with gleaning the story from illustrations (if any), and the things he does read to himself are still pretty simple. It will come.... I know...

Suppose I must remind myself that he's being schooled in French. Same alphabet, very different spoken language.

What school has Frost ended up at this year? I remember you had all sorts of debates about what would be best (distant school for gifted kids vs more accessible regular school) but I don't recall what you ended up doing.

Looking forward to skyping soon!

Shannon said...

Hi Tam,
Don't worry about the pace of reading. I think Frost is slightly obsessive - and he struggles and avoids writing, drawing and MAKING things. He likes to live in his head and in abstractions. His other favorite reading is the Guinness Book of Records which now has very perverse records in it.

I hope we can Skype soon. Actually, I just got Google Voice via my home phone so if you give me a good time and your home phone number I may call you on the cheap.

Mum arrives tomorrow so I should be able to get some quiet, enough to be lucid.

HAve my citizenship interview in less than 24 hours and I haven't read the Guide through yet. Do you know all this stuff? When did you become a US Citizen?

tamusana said...

When I became a citizen I was still a minor, and as such didn't have to take a test. (It also allowed me to renew my SA passport years later, in addition to holding the US one, as I had not revoked my SA passport of my own accord.) My parents and Jon-Marc and Simone did have to take the test. As I recall, my mum wrote the following infamous line, as proof of her proficiency in written English: "I enjoying gardening." They passed her anyway :-)

Good luck! Will email you with skype/phone details.

Interesting about Frost's passions and avoidances. Luca is the opposite: LOVES making things, does so nonstop. But when I showed him your blog posting about Frost reading, he found it amusing, then noted "That's funny, because I hate reading." Sigh....