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How to give your child a lifelong love of reading

A new book, "How to Raise a Reader," is full of practical ways to help parents incorporate books into the lives of their children.

SEATTLE — How to Raise a Reader is a guide to help parents incorporate reading in their children’s everyday lives, setting them up for success in the future.  

Written by co-authors and editors of the New York Times Book Review, Pamela Paul and Maria Russo discuss some ways to foster an environment of reading with kids.

"One thing you can do that's backed up by research is to fill your house with books," Russo said. 

Russo said that just the presence of physical books in the home is likely to lead to a lifetime of reading.

Paul and Russo emphasize that adults need to make reading environments fun in order to create a natural love for literature, rather than forcing them into reading things they're not interested in or ready for.

They also stress that it's important to not pressure your child if they aren't reading by a particular age. 

"It's a complicated process and kids' brains develop at different speeds. So if your child isn't there yet at age five or six, even if it's being pushed in kindergarten or pre-school, don't worry about it. They will get there when they're ready," Paul said. 

"It's really important for parents to take the pressure off in those years and support your child in learning to love books rather than learning to read independently," Russo said.

Other tips to get kids thinking about reading at a young age:

Never stop reading out loud: "That's a key to raising a reader-- that enjoyment and that bonding and just the experiencing of books as something that's just entertainment and pleasure," Russo said.

Keeping picture books in the picture: Paul said the last thing you want to do if your child is struggling to read at school is to pull away from picture books and from reading together as a parent and child at bedtime.

"Picture books are an art form-- an art form that works differently than books that just have words, and reading the images is good for their reading development," Russo said. 

Manga and graphic novels are some examples of picture books that range greatly in themes from child to adult nuances.

Letting teachers, teach: It's the teacher's job to teach your child how to learn to read, but it's your job as a parent to teach them how to love to read. 

Don't judge your child's book choices: Everyone needs comfort reading and an escape. Be excited about the fact that they selected something on their own. 

ABOUT THE BOOK: "Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, and each illustrated by a different artist, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it’s how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or ways to engage a reluctant reader. A fifth section, “More Books to Love: By Theme and Reading Level,” is chockful of expert recommendations. Throughout, the authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fears, and deliver invaluable lessons in a positive and easy-to-act-on way" (workman)

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Segment Producer Heidi Eng. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.