Studies indicate that children raised in homes where the adults are readers have a better chance of becoming readers themselves.
Of course, it helps if the child has a desire to read. Some simply don't.
My daughter has read exactly two books in her seventeen years that was strickly for pleasure. Both of those were the year before last and part of the Twilight series. She is an Honors student in English (and math and science, too, but I am not going to brag about that.) but will tell me with no uncertain terms, books are boring and a waste of time.
If she didn't look exactly like me, I'd consider getting her DNA tested.
My youngest has always LOVED books. It would be hard to say how many words I have read to him. Now as he is older, I will occasionally read to him or even with him, but his own reading time comes in hits in misses. He still loves books, but he has a processing disorder, so reading for pleasure isn't quite the same for him. We're getting there!
My middle child has never really been a fan of books. As he got older, he would pick some books out at the library, both school and public, but not read them all the way if at all.
Then he discovered Star Wars books. He couldn't get enough, and I couldn't keep up with the demand.
While I was glad he was reading, after about a year or so, I started to get concerned he would not ever pick up another kind of book. And ultimately end up an adult with no social skills except with others at the Sci-Fi convention and living in our basement.
We don't have a basement. Or livable attic.
Then in fifth grade, a magical thing happened. It wasn't major change, but it helped. Through the power of peer- written book reports, he found a new world of books.
Now, he'll read an occasional Star Wars book, but he has added:
The 39 Clues (series)
Diary of a Whimpy Kid
The My Name is America series
and other various children's fictional writings. Currently, he is reading Freak the Mighty-- suggested by me. He has already mentioned wanting to read the sequel, Max the Mighty.
We frequent three public libraries. When it is time to go, he usually has a book or two in mind that he would like to get (despite my best efforts to subtly recommend some classic or "boy" series), and then he always spends his most time in the non-fiction section.
His fiction may vary. Right now he is in a 39 Clues, Harry Potter, and graphic novel phase. (superheroes- Batman, Superman, Spiderman)
His non-fiction selections never fail to impress me. This past Sunday, I found him at the computer trying to find some books. I asked him what he was looking for. He said, "Knights. I want to read about knights."
We found the section and he picked out a few on knights and a couple that talked about the Renaissance.
Other non-fiction subjects over time have been the following:
World War I and II
Abraham Lincoln (his favorite President)
Just last night he was flipping the channels on the TV and "American Experience" was just coming on PBS. He said, "Oh! The Ulysses S. Grant one. I was wanting to watch that."
And he did. The entire hour and a half.
I mentioned to my husband that it tickles me pink the choices he makes to read. Seriously, it cracks me up. But obviously other kids want to learn about those things, too, or the books wouldn't have been written geared toward them.
He's growing up fast, though. Before you know it, I'll be writing about straightening up in his room, picked up a book about some historical event, and a special magazine was hidden inside and fell out, opening to the centerfold.
Just as long as he still reads the articles, right?