From my personal experience I learnt even a baby as young as 3 months gets fascinated by books. Little picture books full of colours always increases the curiosity of a young child. Early reading habits grow into a life long habit. The best gift a child can get is love for reading.
As a child I would spend all my pocket money on books. And book shops fascinated me, seeing the same excitement in my children gives me a reason to be contented. Often my kids ask me ” mama you never say no for buying a book, why?” My answer has always been,” you are adding to a treasure chest.”
One thing I learnt is that never tell a young child not to buy a particular book, rather let them buy any book of their choice maybe even a colouring book and then quietly get a book of your choice and say that ” I think we should take this too because it looks interesting.” Believe me any child will be glad to get a little extra thing from the market. Once you are back home the child might not initially touch the book you got but after a while maybe a day or so out of curiosity will definitely open it. This is a tried and tested formula.
In today’s world kids are exposed to artificial recreation that a good hobby like reading is forgotten. My advice to parents is don’t compel your child to read rather gently introduce the habit of reading. Kids are always fascinated by stories and bedtime story is the best way of introducing reading.