The following is an excerpt of The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac, with illustrations by the beloved Quentin Blake. The book is charming and was reprinted in 2006, after first being published in 1992. The book is a "passionate defense of reading for pleasure" and is one of my favorite books.
"To be fair, we parents didn't set out to turn reading into a chore. All we thought about, in the beginning, was our children's enjoyment. We were in a state of grace during those early years. Our total sense of wonder in the face of a new life transformed us into geniuses. For them, we became storytellers. As soon as they emerged, blinking, into the world of language, we told them stories. It was a talent we didn't know we had. Their enjoyment inspired us. Their happiness gave us voice. We created character after character, adventure after adventure, ratcheting up the plots. We invented a whole world for them, much as the aging Tolkien did for his grandchildren. On the border of day and night, we became their novelist.
Not that it would have mattered if we'd had no talent for storytelling. If we'd told them other people's stories--badly, groping for words, mispronouncing names, mixing up adventures, muddling the beginning of one with the ending of another...Even if we hadn't made up stories at all, if we'd just read aloud, we'd still have been their personal novelists, their special storytellers helping them slip into their dreamy pajamas every evening before dissolving under the sheets of night. More than that, we were the book.
Remember that intimacy. There's nothing like it.
How we loved scaring just for the thrill of consoling! And how desperately they wanted to be scared! They weren't fooled, even then, but they trembled all the same. They were real readers, in other words. What a playful partnership we formed: they the cunning readers, we the book!"