"A story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader's. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it. Reading a sentence and understanding it were the same thing; as with the crooking of a finger, nothing lay between them. There was no gap during which the symbols were unraveled. You saw the word castle, and it was there, seen from some distance, with woods in high summer spread before it, the air bluish and soft with smoke rising from the blacksmith's forge, and a cobbled road twisting away into the green shade..."
Ian McEwan, Atonement
Question (no right or wrong answer, just curious about what works for different families): do you keep tabs on what your big kids and teens are reading or have you given them book autonomy (and if so, at what age)? How much do you monitor or have veto power on what they read? Guide their selection?
And do you ever still read aloud to your big kids?
p.s. I'll admit that I pulled The Thorn Birds off my parents' bookshelf and read it when I was pretty young. And most of it went right over my head...