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I told Gwen and Parker that this is the last week of the summer reading program. The program ends on Sunday but my cutoff for redeeming prizes is Friday. Whatever they are going to earn would have to be done by Friday. The house seemed extra quiet this morning.

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I came downstairs and saw Parker reading on the couch with two stacks of books in front of him. Gwen was in the other room with her own stack of books. Then I found out they had been reading for an hour already! Color me impressed.

Gwen quit reading after an hour and a half. Parker kept his nose buried in books for three and a half hours. I am not even making that up. He finally quit to eat lunch. He was a man on a mission, cramming in as much reading as if he was about to take his finals.

He wants the prizes and I don’t blame him. He’s just not that interested in reading. Also understandable. Reading doesn’t make the earth shake for everyone. When we read our scriptures together as a family, Parker is an excellent reader. He can read. He just doesn’t really have the attention span for it. He bores easily with chapter books unless it’s literary garbage like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He enjoys having chapter books read to him. I think he’ll be like his dad and prefer books on CD so he can multitask.

One day I told him he should read the picture books we have. They’re books he enjoyed having me read to him as a kid. Books with wonderful pictures and engaging stories but the reading level is too high for young children. When I catch him reading he’s usually reading a picture book. We have some fun stories with so much text the book can take a decent amount of time to read.

Gwen is the book worm of the family. She devours books. She is also the most well-rounded person I know. She doesn’t seem to obsess over any one thing for long before she moves on to the next thing. I was impressed she would read a pile of books for 90 minutes but there were toys to play with and songs to make up and pictures to draw.

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I tried to get Parker to stop reading. His eyes lit up when I told him how many spaces he could mark on his chart. That number only fueled his fire. He was going to read until he finished his pile of books or his eyes fell out of his head. Whichever came first. I’m sure he would love to earn the grand prize. It’s a free paperback book. It would be bragging rights for him. Gwen wants to earn the book because she has put in the time little by little all summer long. And she would devour the book as soon as she got it home.

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Gavin even got in on the action. He read his picture books out loud. Not loud enough to bug Parker but loud enough I could pick out lines from the stories as I scrapbooked. It was fun listening to him.

After lunch the kids asked if I would read to them. The book we are currently reading is so boring. I can barely get half an hour out before my eyes close out of self defense and I start snoring. It is my least favorite book I have ever agreed to read aloud. The kids are sweet about my narcolepsy. They continue quietly doing what they’re doing while I sleep in a chair for a while. Only 100 more pages to go …

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Eventually the reading spell was broken and the decimated bottom shelf of picture books was restored to order. Friday will be a big day at the library indeed.

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