by Saverio Mommo

When it comes to reading there is only one quote that resonates in my head and that really manages to describe what I would call the truth about the “habit of reading”, and that is:

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. 

-Oscar Wilde

If one way or another you ended up reading this article, there is probably no new reading world, let alone different. Books have represented a constant in my life and in some ways also a safe place to take refuge from the moments of joy and pain I have lived. This is the outstanding power of books: from reading even a single book you will meet new emotions and thoughts that will shape your person.

That said, too many people still discover this reality in old age, thus losing the opportunity to develop new sides of their personality from an early age. For this and many other reasons it is right to direct our children to reading right away, leaving them the freedom to choose and so allowing them to develop a mindset as open as possible. Whether you are a parent or simply an adult a great book that can help you having a better understanding of what are the best ways to introduce your little loved ones to reading is surely “Once upon a reader” by Lorraine Levis.

This book covers lots of different interesting and fascinating topics: from illustrating how to choose the “perfect” book to suggesting useful resources for parents. Moreover, the author finds herself comfortable in discussing about some of the most criticized arguments, such as the issues related to book-genders in chapter 1. what makes this book unique is the fact that, although I can sometimes find disagreement some arguments these always represent an opportunity for growth and awareness.


Illustration by Freepik


Focusing again on the main topic, “Once upon a reader” gives very useful advice on how to “Foster a Love of Reading”. The author’s main point is that although reading is a solitary endeavour, it can be shared with others so that everyone can get a taste of this magical attitude.  Leafing through chapter 4 you will probably discover something that I have always believed to be a reality far from my appreciation, but that can really be a game changer when it comes to creating a passion for reading for younger (and not only!).

One of the things that I liked most is the fact that not only is the reality of children’s clubs discussed but also that of new parents who, like everyone, can delay in reading (and in his baby club readers) a useful tool to overcome a moment as beautiful as complex.

Here’s a very short abstract of chapter 4 about Baby book club:

“Baby book clubs are one of my favourite book groups because you never know what you’re going to get! Some people come just to have a chat and meet other parents, others are excited to find some new activities they can share with their little ones and maybe try at home. Seeing your child interact with their little peers is always a joy as well as being important for their social development, which can help them when the time comes for them to go to crèche or school. […] You get to share a story and make connections with books but, needless to say, you get so much more!”

Finally, one last topic that Levis talks about that I believe represents a topic that can change people perception about books is the distinction between E-books and physical books. She does not only narrate the origins of E-books but also express her own thought on a very frequent question in these cases, that is the following “what is the best way for your child to read a book?”



What I like the most about Levis’s answer is that she does articulate her thoughts by showing both the benefits and the damage that comes from reading E-books and physical books. Thus, here is a taste of his views on the issue:

“It is also extremely important that children have some creative outlets that aren’t centred on a computer screen. Although the size and general shape of e-books and physical books may be similar, children need to know that they have an alternative when they’re told to do something other than look at a screen.”

 There is no better way to approach reading than to start by reading a book, then, if that book is ” Once upon a reader ” then rest assured that you will discover thousand shades of the world that were unknown to you!

Once Upon A Reader by Lorraine Levis is available to purchase on our website and in all good book shops around the country!