New Book New Year's: a Tradition to Encourage Reading

11 December

I am not a person who loves "traditions." In fact, I don't think I have ever felt the need to do something because it was tradition.

Not that traditions are bad, but I just don't tend to conform to them unless I have a good reason. Still I wanted my kids to have some meaningful traditions. So, a few years ago my husband and I (inspired by Iceland's Christmas book giving tradition) started a new tradition that also functions to encourage reading.


A simple New Year's Tradition to start with your family.

We know reading is important for kids not just for learning facts, but for learning new skills, improving vocabulary, and increasing memory. It also improves social skills!

So we know reading is good for kids. We know they need to read, so how can we encourage reading? In addition to what we already do at our house for beginning readers, we have this New Book New Year Tradition for all the readers (even mom and dad).

What is this new tradition you might say? Well it is nothing amazing. It doesn't take a lot of time, a lot of effort, or even a lot of money especially if you are willing to shop used.

The New Book New Year Tradition

In fact all you need to do is purchase a new (or new to you) book for each member of your family. If you don't want to pick a book for yourself, you can ask your spouse to. Honestly, my husband will happily shop with me for books for the kids and always prides himself on surprising me with the book he finds.  He can get pretty ornery too. He has even swapped out the book I wrapped for myself with one he purchased and hid from me.

Once you have your books wrap them up. I usually use the same or a couple coordinating papers with a different color ribbon for each family member.

Then right after kids are in bed (or just some time late New Year's Eve when they aren't paying attention) place them in a central position in the house. Now those happy new books are waiting for the new year just like you.

New Books encourage reading in the New Year.


When everyone wakes up in the morning it is time to open the New Year's books. Now if you all stayed up the night before this may not happen very early which is a-ok. Of course if you have an early riser you may need to occupy them while waiting for the rest of the family. After all this isn't supposed to be a hectic, wake everyone up for gifts, tradition.

Once you have everyone up, you open books, or eat, decide which order is best for your family, Opening doesn't take too long, and while it is the most exciting part, the best part is what happens after the books are open.



The kids all look at all the books, not just their own. They want to read them all!

The littler ones want theirs read aloud, and several members of the family end up reading to them. After all reading aloud is important. Then the older kids and the adults are able to take time to read or at least begin reading their books.


The New Book New Year is a slow, peaceful way to start the new year, and it encourages the kids to start the year reading. The older ones read their books as well as the younger kids books, lots of reading going on for sure.


This New Year's tradition also allow mom and dad a chance to have a calm morning and enjoy some reading too. Plus seeing their parents read encourages kids to become readers too.


Encourage reading with a New Book New Year's.

Basically, this is one tradition that I don't have any problem keeping! 

Keep the New Book New Year Going All Year


I also want to introduce you to a great way to encourage reading all year long, the new Usborne Book Subscription Box! That's right, new, age appropriate books delivered right to your door each month. Let my favorite book lady, Janine give you more information about the subscription box as well as about why you should raise readers.  

I received a sample subscription box as a thank you for inclusion in this post, because my book lady knows we love books, and Usborne are some of our favorites! Be sure to check out this book subscription box quick because December 31st is the last day to sign up!

New year's tradition to encourage kids to read more.

And if you need a way to ring in your New Book New Year why not try a Book Themed Countdown! 

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