When Chase was younger (from about 6 months to 2 yrs old give or take), we really pushed the reading thing. I've always done what I thought was best and back then, I believed all the "I read to my kid every day and they are brilliant!!!!" stories. Of course I wanted my kid to be amazing in every possible way. All the parenting advice I was reading said to read and read and read to them. So we did. And it never felt quite right.
A lot of our reading time was forced. In an effort to quiet things down at night we would read books. Chase spent most of that time rolling around the bed and goofing off. Nothing like what parents are led to expect of story time. There was no cuddling. No drifting peacefully off to sleep. No interest in the stories really. And no quiet! At first I thought it was the books we were choosing. This one has too many words. That one doesn't have enough pictures. This one is too long. And so on. Daddy loves to read, so much so we married in a library. I felt so terrible that our kiddo was not a lover of books. He didn't even tolerate them most of the time. What were we doing wrong? Every kid is supposed to love story time right? Not in our house!
Gradually, and the more we got into unschooling, the reading activity went from mandatory to optional. Occasionally Chase would want to read a book when he had no other entertainment options. He would choose the ones that he can "read" along with us (more like he knows what's coming next rather than reading words on a page.) But most of the time he wanted nothing to do with books. Until now.
Tonight I asked Daddy, "Am I crazy or does Chase want to read books lately?" He said "Yeah he does. I think he actually understands what's going on in the stories now. So he likes it more." Bingo! How could I have missed that? How fun is it to partake in an activity that doesn't make any sense? We might as well have been reading to him in Portuguese! All this time I thought I was doing something wrong or worse, there was something wrong with Chase. But that wasn't the case at all. He wasn't able to comprehend the stories and so it wasn't as fun or engaging as jumping on the bed or Curious George or just about anything else he chose to do.
Kids are unique snowflakes. The best thing you can do is let your kiddo teach YOU how to raise them. I'm sure there are lots of young kids out there that really do love to be read to. But Chase was not one of those kids, at least not at first. Man, I love these unschooling ah-ha! moments :)