Reading and disappearing books

I am a huge advocate of reading to your kids. I have two boys who can read -- they are 9 and 6 -- and who have been reading for awhile. The big one will read several books a week on his own. The little one is just starting to do that. But my husband and I still read to each of them every night before bed. We've been doing this since they've been born, and I think for all of us it's some of the best time of the day.

I confess, I am a big reader myself, so I wanted my kids to love books and reading, too. And I think it's working. There are some books I read with the older one because I think the themes are tougher, and it's good to be able to make sure he understands. But, he also just likes being read to.  And I think that's great. I hope it doesn't end. Same with the little guy. In fact, one of the most effective punishment threats in our house is that reading time will be shortened.  Which is something we hate to enforce, but the threat generally works.

So, what motivated me to write was an article in Slate this week by Daniel Smith, a Dad who's going crazy from having to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar every day over and over. This piece is hilarious, and I totally identified with it. Those books can drive you nuts. Here's my favorite part of Smith's piece: "Great children's writers never forget their dual audience. . . . [Contrast Eric Carle to Maurice Sendak who] injects into simple, alluring, toddler-graspable tales enough mystery, poetry, and startling symbolism to keep parents interested while their kids sit in their laps."

I get what Smith is saying. There are books I just won't read to my kids, and now that they can read, I tell them to go ahead and read them on their own.  (i.e. pretty much anything from the Nickelodeon series of books).  There are also kids books I love now, and those I loved when my kids were babies (Goodnight Moon, Trucks).  I think it's ok for parents to have some veto power on the book choices.  And so does KJ D'ellAnonia over at Double X who writes "if your kid's favorite book fills you with loathing and despair. then it's OK for that book to mysteriously disappear."  She advises Smith that it would be okay to have the Very Hungry Caterpillar meet a dire fate: "Change is also good. New experiences are good. Daddy's sanity is very good. Mr. Smith, if that book suffers a tragic fate, your daughter will grieve, and then move on."

So, what do you think? Should we as parents help certain books "disappear?"  In my view, this is a last resort, but if the choice is between not reading and taking drastic measures to move your kid onto a new favorite book, I'm all for some creative problem-solving.