When my children were little, I read to them pretty often, sometimes during quiet afternoons but more often at night, while snuggled in their beds just before it was time for them to sleep. Of course, I chose all my favorite childhood books. As my Wonderful Smart Beautiful Daughter got older, she would take turns reading sometimes, especially when we were camping, all of us lying together on the floor of the tent while she bent over a book with a flashlight.
As my children have gotten older, they've developed their own taste in books, moving away from all the books I've bought and choosing ones of their own. I've never read much science fiction or fantasy, but my kids have read quite a bit. And it’s cool that my kids are old enough to recommend books to me.
Recently, With-a-Why has been choosing books he loves and reading them to me at night before he goes to sleep. We read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster as his insistence. He loves that book. He is also convinced that I need to read some Phillip Pullman, because he loved the whole His Dark Materials trilogy. So this week, we have been reading a few chapters of The Golden Compass aloud. Sometimes I read, while he snuggles up to me with his special pillow and stuffed dog, and sometimes I relax against the pillows and let him read to me. It's not a book I would have read on my own, but I have to admit that I am enjoying it.
That's one of the coolest things about parenting – how quickly the learning becomes reciprocal.