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May is “Get Caught Reading” Month



May is “Get Caught Reading” month, a campaign that encourages readers to bring books with them wherever they go—and to get caught reading them. At its core, “Get Caught Reading” month inspires people to build a daily reading habit and to become lifelong readers.

 

Throughout the past few days, I’ve been caught reading in the following places: on my front porch after dinner, on the back deck while the kids played in the sprinkler, at the chiropractor’s office while I waited for an adjustment, and on the couch while my sons watched a few episodes of Paw Patrol, their current favorite show.

 

I’ve been making it a point to sit down and read in front of my kids more often. Sure, we read to them every day, but I don’t usually read in front of them as much as I should, primarily because they’re 3.5 and 2 years old and they require every ounce of my concentration when they’re together at this age. So I’m starting small, counting 5-10 minutes of reading next to them as a success. Here’s why: the more they see Mom (or Dad) reading around them, the more likely they are to pick up a book and read themselves. This “monkey see, monkey do” behavior is called observational learning, and is one of the primary ways children learn throughout early childhood.

 

For many of us, picking up a book means putting down our phones, which is yet another win for those of us with early childhood learners around. Monkey see, monkey do! Imagine if every time you picked up your phone to doom scroll for ten minutes—which easily turns into twenty, which consumes your whole night—you picked up a book instead. This is something I’m practicing at night, when I’m most likely to scroll, and it’s one of the reasons I’m halfway through my reading goal for the year! Plus, it’s infinitely more rewarding.

 

Here are a few tips to “Get Caught Reading” this month:

· Keep a book, a magazine, or an eReader with you at all times—in the car, in your purse, and on your nightstand.     

· Make space for a few books in every room of the house. You’re more likely to “get caught reading” if they’re readily available and staring you in the face.

·Unplug for a day, a few evenings before bed, a week, or an entire month. Swap out screen time and excessive scrolling for reading. I like to keep my phone out of reach in the evenings, when I find myself most likely to doom scroll, and pick up a book instead.

· Load up your Libby queue! Audiobooks are an easy way to read while multitasking. I find that a good audiobook makes completing simple tasks like dishes, pulling weeds, or folding laundry infinitely more enjoyable! You’ll get caught reading in the kitchen, in the garden, and wherever you fold your laundry.

 

Of course, the library is your best bet for places to stock up on your next favorite reads. And, with the Friends of the Library Bag Book Sale just around the corner from May 13-18th, it’s easier than ever to stash up on reading material. For just $5, visitors can walk away with an entire brown paper bag full of books. Stop by and visit us in the basement of the library.

 

Finally, we’d love to see where you “get caught reading” all month long. We’d love to receive photos of you and your loved ones reading wherever you’re cracking a spine. Pictures can be emailed to jen@wicksonlibrary.org or dropped off to the library. Be sure to watch Facebook for a gallery of “Get Caught Reading” month photos. Happy reading!

 

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