I almost feel I should write this as an open letter to Stephanie Meyer and Random House. You see,I have a child who abhors reading. For her reading is painful, not fun, and a chore at best. Can you imagine how a child who struggles to read must feel being brought up in a house with a mother that writes? For years I have struggled with different ways to get her to read. I tried asking, pleading, begging, and even resorted to bribery which got me no where fast.

A good friend of mine once told me that to read well, you must read well. I thought about it and it made sense. There is something to be said for fluency. If every other word stopped you, or if you read slow, the story would never even get a fighting chance. Which is how it was for my daughter.

For her, reading a book was kin to going to the dentist for me. Something that had to be done, but not thought about unless forced.

Whatever you may think about the "Twight Series" written by Stephanie Meyer I have to say I owe her a debt of gratitude. Perhaps I owe even more to Random House for taking these huge volumes and converting them into audio books.

It started two years ago when I bought the first book in the series on a mountain trip with my girl friends. My very adult girl friends with whom I share a deep and abiding love of scrap booking. We were in Boone, NC and I was in Black Bear Books when I saw a book that caught my attention. A solid black cover with two pale outstretched hands holding an apple. The image grabbed me. The back cover sold me and I ordered a Vanilla Latte and sat down to read a chapter to decide if this was something I might like. You all know the answer to that. I loved it. I shared it with my then eleven year old daughter's best friend Katie, who devoured it as well. That is where it all started. I read the books and then passed them over to Katie, who would talk animatedly with me about Edward,Bella, and Jacob.

The books came to life for us. Katie and I tried diligently to get my daughter to read them. "Not happening, Mom." She'd tell me. They are too big and I'll get too bored. Then the movie "Twilight" came out and yes we all went to see it. This was the first real spark Megs showed toward wanting to read the books. Again, I wasn't sure how I could convince her to read this huge six-hundred page volume of words without making her nauseous.

Then for Christmas this year I got an inspiration while playing and searching for gifts on Amazon. I saw the audio-book of Twilight and thought maybe, just maybe, this might entice Megs to read it. I purchased it and waited patiently for her to jump up and down for joy-the way I would have--on Christmas morning. Again, it didn't happen. Then my daughter's best friend Katie, who has now moved away to the coast came for a visit and of course we talked about Twilight. What they would do with the second movie, and how we hoped that it was as good as the first. Megs of course joined in on this discussion. She'd seen the movie. Then Katie saw the audio book that Megs had left sitting on our coffee table from where she had opened it on Christmas morning. Untouched. I'd been devastated at her lack of interest. I thought I had finally lost the battle with her.

Until it was time to take Katie home, and Katie grabbed it and told my daughter to grab the books and that they were going to listen and read on the way up the mountain to meet her parents.

They listened. They read along with the narrator and when we got home from dropping Katie off Megs asked me to put the rest of the discs on her IPOD. I did.

Today, less than twenty four hours later, my daughter finished her first book, or rather her first novel. She loved it. I'll never forget her tromping down the stairs telling me "You have to put the rest of the discs on my IPOD. Mom, reading is like having your very own movie going in your head." I simply smiled. Finally, she understood what I had been trying to convince her of all along.

Books can make you forget, they can make you escape reality even if only for a little while. I'm glad that I can finally share my love of reading with her.

So for anyone else out there who has a reluctant reader--give audio books a try. Granted, you may not have a boy crazy tween like I do but surely there is something out there that will grab your child's attention.



So thank you to Ms. Stephanie Myer for writing books that captured my daughter's attention and thank you to Random House for putting them in Audio Format and last but not least thank you to Katie, who never gave up on Megs and never made her feel inadequate or less for not wanting to read but kept at her like the little bulldog she is until Megs had no other choice but to give in. After all what are best friends for?