failed book-bribing campaign to get N. more in the habit of reading novels from start to finish, he did just that. It was evening and I was looking for a new read-aloud. (I settled on Tom's Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce, which we are loving so far!). As I was rummaging the shelves, I noticed Hotel Cat by Esther Averill and tossed it on N.'s bed, thinking he might like it (he loves cats, and it is set in an old hotel in New York). He found the book later when he was getting ready for bed and immediately began to read. So much for a reasonable bedtime that night! He read one more chapter, and one more, and one more until later than I will publicly admit to. He woke himself up early in order to keep reading, he read through breakfast, and he finished the book by the following night. I immediately ordered as many more of Averill's Cat Club books on Abebooks.com as I could find at reasonable prices (as usual, our lame public library has none).
This totally absorbing, drop-everything, "please don't talk to me" binge-reading is one of my favorite pleasures, and it warms my heart to see my son experience it. That was all I was really aiming for in my book-bribing project. It wouldn't be particularly practical if he read that way all the time; he'd never get anything else done! And this was certainly not his first experience of this kind of reading (see Harry Potter, volumes 1-3). But as a mom and a literature professor, very little gives me greater happiness than seeing someone in lost in a book.