In the publishing industry, and as parents, we think a lot about ways to connect kids with books. Bookstores and libraries, school book clubs and fairs, and perhaps the advent of hand-held electronic readers may incline this techno-savvy generation more toward reading. I believe another important part of nurturing the love of books is to show how books and stories build connections between people--build community.
I've got a simple, inexpensive, low-tech suggestion that has been both fun and enlightening at our house where, in truth, books are plentiful. Beyond access, the best way I have found to connect my kids with books is to let THEM recommend books to ME. Each year, around the holidays, I ask each of my boys to suggest a book they'd like me to read.
Consider this notion akin to kicking a soccer ball around the back yard with your child and letting him or her give you a little "coaching" along the way. It allows them to invite you in to their world--to share their expertise and interest. Reading their recommendations provides opportunities for unique conversations. Like friendship, love of reading is enriched by reciprocity. This year, let your kids give the gift of reading to you--and see what you learn about them.
If you're interested, here is this year's book list: