I can probably count on two hands the number of times Margot has gone to bed without us reading a book or two beforehand. Occasionally, I do admit, I've let her trade 30 minutes of The Electric Company for reading before bed (I justify the television-for-book swap since that show focuses on reading skills).
After I leave the room, Margot continues to look at books for 30 minutes or so until she falls asleep. I noticed last night that there was a pile of easy-readers next to her bed that she had pulled from her shelf. I asked her if she would read one to me. I know she can sound out and read the pages of these books. I've heard her read to herself in her room. But last night, when I asked her to read to me, she shook her head and tears formed in her eyes.
"Why not?" I asked. "Why don't you want to read to me?"
"Because," she said, lip quivering, "if I read to you, then you will stop reading to me!"
I told her that we could still have this bedtime ritual, and she could just practice reading aloud. She said no. She wouldn't read to me. Of course, I dropped the whole issue and read to her. I hope she will love books the way I do. She can continue to read in secret, and I will be the one to read aloud.