My dad introduced me to J. R. R. Tolkien, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and other classic authors. My grandpa had a bookshelf loaded with Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and National Geographics.
I inherited my life-long love of reading, but I was lucky. The organizers of the #DadsRead Campaign shared some startling statistics:
There are studies suggesting that only 19 percent of 16-24 year-old fathers say they enjoy reading at bedtime with their children. What’s more, data from Pew Research and other sources demonstrate that fathers are significantly less involved than mothers when it comes to the reading lives of their children.
In an effort to change that disturbing trend, Zoobean and The Good Men Project have teamed up for the #DadsRead Campaign–encouraging families to share how their fathers helped them read. On Thursday night (June 12), at 8 p.m. ET, you can join the #DadsRead hashtag for an online Twitter party with prizes.
#DadsRead co-founder Jordan Lloyd Bookey told me: “If dads read for pleasure, they are a major role model. My parents loved to read. Every night at bedtime, my dad was there reading books and telling stories. Those are some of my favorite memories.”
Here’s how you can participate:
If you have a great picture of your dad reading with you OR if you’re a dad and you have a picture of you reading with your kids, share it on Instagram or Twitter and tag it with #DadsRead. If you have a favorite article or blog post about the importance of dads reading, share it on Twitter or Facebook with the #DadsRead tag.
Instead of settling for a silly tie or a golf club this Father’s Day, take your dad, grandpa, son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter to a bookstore or library. Enjoy a few books together with your family; the memories will last for generations. Let books, reading and writing be your inheritance.
Jason Boog is the former editor of GalleyCat. On July 15, Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint will publish his book, Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age.