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Rearing a

ading is for lifetime and the knowledge ac- child. If the child is exposed to more books,
quired and updated through regular read- it helps him to develop a strong liking for
ing habit is the source and a way for deve- reading. For example, good picture books
loping character. In order to inculcate read- make children love books much before they
ing habit in children, understanding the can read them. Unfortunately number of
five reading phases is necessary. such good picture books is declining due to

READING HABIT
1) Integral-personal, self-centered high production cost and price-cutting com-
starting phase, (2 to 5/6 years) in which petitive marketing methods and shrinking
child makes little differentiation between markets as each country is trying to develop
the inner and outer worlds, loves reading distinctive style of illustrations.
because of rhythm and sounds with strong The second strong factor is the child’s
M S SRIDHAR lists out the reading phases of children plastic power of the ideas. language skills. This means, not only books
2) Fairy tale reading age (5 to 8/9 appropriate to the level of language need to
and gives tips on how to get your child to read more. years) of magical realism in which child is be provided but also enough care should be
primarily susceptible to fantasy though de- taken to constantly improve the language

A
century ago, more than 80% of crucial for developing a good reading habit. light in rhythm and rhyme as well as love skills of the child. The third factor which af-
people were unskilled laborers en- Apart from improved academic achieve- for poetry continue. fects reading habit in children is the IQ of
gaged in manual vocation. But to- ments, reading non-fiction develops an in- 3) Environmental story age (9 to 12 the child. Lastly and the least in strength is
day, a large majority is directly or quisitive attitude in students. In children, 8 years) of the ‘factual’ reading in which the occupation of parents (particularly, fa-
indirectly engaged in intellectual profes- to 13 years age is considered to be the golden child starts construction of a realistic, ra- ther). The most important point is that
sion, which presupposes ability to read and age for developing reading habit as a leisure tionally-ordered, practical facade in front of teachers and parents are the role models for
the need for life long self-education. Thus, activity and children in this age show maxi- a pseudo-realistically masked adventure- children in cultivating reading habit and
reading is no more restricted to a small mum interest in reading as well as visiting magical background. The child begins to with little extra care they can effectively
cross section of a privileged society. Howev- libraries. After passing this age, interest in orient himself in the concrete, objective overcome such socio-economic barriers af-
er, reading beyond textbooks and fiction are reading fades and relationship with books world with frequently adding the questions fecting reading habit in children.
wary with motivation to read ‘how?’ and ‘why?‘ to ‘what?’. The interest in Some motivations in children to read, as
replaced by other dominating fairy tales and sagas is still evident in this discovered in the past research, are interes-
interests like love, adventure, age group but the longing for the adventure- ting. First and foremost motivation is simp-
etc. Reading habit is consid- some also begins. ly the fun of practicing the newly acquired
ered as ‘passport’ to many dif- 4) Adventure story age (12 to 14/15 reading skills, the delight in the intellectual
ferent new ’worlds’ like the years) with adventurous realism (or a psy- activity and in mastering the mechanical
world of past, future, technol- chological sensationally-oriented) reading skill. The second is the drive to use and tr-
ogy, nature, outer space, phase. During the pre-adolescent develop- ain the intellectual-spiritual aptitudes like
other countries and mental process the child gradually becomes fantasy, thought, will, sympathy, the ability
above all the inner- conscious of his won personality. He loosens to identify, etc. This results in development
most part of hu- or undoes previous bonds and displays of aptitudes and expansion of the self.
man heart. And toughness. In this ‘second age of independ- The third motivation is the need to be-
in children, if ence and defiance’, gang forming predomi- come acquainted with the world, to enrich
developed in nates the child and the ‘devilish child’ is of- one’s own ideas and to have intellectual ex-
the right age, ten in the foreground with interest in cheap perience resulting in formation of a philos-
reading habit sentimentality and self-adulation. He is in- ophy of life and understanding the world
r e m a i n s terested primarily through plot, events, and around us. Lastly, the inner motivations
strong and sensationalism (and of course with girls). and interests corresponding to definite ex-
grows continu- Naturally, adventure books, sensational perience of the child like the delight in en-
ously through out novels, travel books and trash and cheap countering familiar thing and people or un-
life. The talent and sentimental stories are attractive to him. familiar and new things, the longing to es-
interest develop- 5) The years of maturity (or the ‘liter- cape reality and live in a world of fantasy,
ed through non- ary aesthetic sphere’) of reading develop- the need for self-assertion, the search for
fiction ment age (14 to 17 years) involves discovery ideas, advice, entertainment, etc. are also
re - of one’s own inner world of critical self-cen- important.
teredness as well as development of a plan Reading aloud leads to perception of
for life and scales of values. In this phase, stored word groups in two strokes thought
beside plot, form and content are also val- units, visually and in pronunciation. It also
ued with interest in the outside world re- trains the child to read word by word rather
placed or supplemented by participation than to grasp thought units and hence re-
in the inner world and the world of val- sults frequently in regression and reading
ues. Reading on travel, adventure with errors.
more intellectual content, historical However, some practice of reading aloud
novels, biographies, love stories, is necessary for speech education and aes-
topical subjects, engaged literature thetic experience of literary works. Other-
and factual material with vocation- wise, silent reading, which leads to better
al preferences is expected in this age comprehension, is the basis for individual
group. reading education. Though the reading
Unfortunately, school libraries speed (i.e., broadening the eye fixation
rarely organise their collection accord- span) is important, the quality of compre-
ing to above phases. Further, there are four hension is more important than reading
deterministic factors that affect reading speed. When quality of comprehension im-
habit in children. The first significant fac- proves reading as a ‘thought process’ is fur-
tor is the number of books known to the ther catalyzed by questioning attitude.