It’s no secret that I am a voracious reader. So when I read that people no longer want to read a book— or certain type of book— it makes me very sad. Especially given that one of my hats is as Book Review Editor at Brain, Child Magazine (obviously focusing on books related to parenting).
I must admit though that in general I agree with the authors of both articles a bit.
1) Meijler’s article out on Kveller today raises the important point that following any book (whether on parenting or other philosophical) to the letter likely isn’t the best idea. That’s why I like to explore a range of titles on a topic and pick elements that work best for me, my family, household, or work life. In that vein, I have recently done two Top 10 Lists for Brain, Child. The first is on books about sleep and children (not just infants!) and the second is on parenting a child with special needs.
2) I also agree with Schoech that “parenting” books can often be anxiety-laden, knee-jerk, and inflammatory. That’s why some of my favorite parenting books aren’t actually about parenting at all. For example, see my recent reviews of The Marshmallow Test (one of the best books of any type I have read of late) and Where Children Sleep (truly thought-provoking).
Reading is a gift, as I try to teach my boys, and I hope by reading broadly we can all learn something, even if we don’t always agree with everything in a book. Because, more than anything, reading should make us think (and open up new worlds, either fictional or non-fictional)!
Off to sneak in a few more pages now of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians!