It is a simple thing to do every single day - spend 15 or 20 minutes (minimum) with your child (or children) and read to them. We have done this since Day 1 with our children. Not all of the stories are my taste let alone interesting. But it is not all about us as parents - it is about your child and his or her future.
Spending time with your child does several things simultaneously. One, you simply spend time with your child or children. There is no substitute for a parent giving their children attention and sharing quality time with them. Period. Two, you are teaching your children how to listen, how to read, and about a variety of topics all at the same time. Three, you are creating memories every single time. No, your child will not remember every single minute and every single book you read to them (and eventually with them). But, they remember a lot more than you may realize. Our oldest is starting to read on his own and he is only 3. For quite some time he has been able to look a book and recite (or paraphrase) page by page after having read it with us one or two times. We thought that was impressive until he began reading words on pages. No, he is not fully literate - but he enjoys reading and learning.
His interest in reading and learning goes well beyond books. He asks a lot of questions. He pays close attention to his surroundings. You can see on his face that he is taking everything in - both good and bad. It is fully up to him what he wants to learn as he grows up and how he wants to use his knowledge. But at this time in his life, he has the fundamentals for learning - he has the desire and ability to ask questions.
I can say with pride that his thirst for knowledge goes back to the daily routine of reading books to him. It started out that we would mostly read to him before bed, but he now wants to read books in the morning when he wakes up and at school and when he is home after school on weekends. It is a simple routine that has a long lasting impact on our children.
Please read to your child. Please. You will undoubtedly reap the rewards as your child grows and learns. If you want some tips and tricks, click here. There is no one right way - just try something.