12/14/05 — It is not all about games

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It is not all about games

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 14, 2005 1:51 PM

Valerie Tyler said her daughter's eyes light up when she opens a book. Wide-eyed and smiling, 5-year-old Lilly loves playing with the pages and looking at pictures - even if she isn't quite old enough to understand the words.

"She loves picture books," Mrs. Tyler said. "I'll start turning the page, and she'll fuss until she sees the next picture."

Mrs. Tyler added she reads "Baby Einstein" books to her daughter before she naps, hoping to maximize the amount of time the two spend together.

"I love every moment with Lilly," she said.

Shorlette Stephens sees many children with their parents picking up their favorite books. The children's librarian at Wayne County Public Library said although children are still drawn to movies and video games, there is still room for a good book.

And sometimes, the release of a movie like "Harry Potter" or "The Lord of the Rings" sends some children looking for the hardback version, Mrs. Stephens said.

"The release of the movies has really increased interest in the books," she said. "In some cases, the movies make kids want to read."

Mrs. Stephens added "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" has been extremely popular since it was released.

"You should've seen the wait list when the new book came out," she said.

Wayne County Public Library tries to offer children a comfortable place to pick out their favorite book and read for a few hours, Mrs. Stephens said.

Detailed paintings on the wall offer scenery to young readers as they turn a few dozen pages, while relaxing on yellow beanbag chairs.

"We try to create an atmosphere where kids feel they can hang out," she said.

Another way in which the library draws in young readers is through the Snack and Chat Club, a group that meets on the third Thursday of every month. Children in the club bring their favorite books and discuss them with their peers.

The children's library has a large collection. Fiction, junior biographies, picture books and graphic novels are very popular, Mrs. Stephens said.

Yes, children are still reading. And those who aren't might just need some encouragement from a role model, Mrs. Stephens added.

"To see parents reading and enjoying a book is a good way to spark interest," she said.

For more information about the Snack and Chat Club, contact the Wayne County Public Library.