Here's what I know: when you're hoping a child will read a book, you should use indirect means only (especially if that child is over 5). No pushing, no convincing, no making cases, no threats—just discreetly make the book available, get out of the way, and let nature take its course (more or less).
Here's what I did: got my copy of The Diamond in the Window, and essentially tried to cram it down Chestnut's throat (metaphorically, don't worry).
Me: It's so great!
Chestnut: It looks scary.
Me: It's not scary, I swear it. Well OK, the jack-in-the-box is a little scary, but it all ends up OK, I promise.
C: I'm not reading it.
M: Please, you have to read it.
C: I won't read it!
M: YOU HAVE TO READ IT.
This is because I am both a parenting and children's literature genius.
Happily, cooler heads prevailed. Which is just another way of saying that first I actually tried reading it aloud in her vicinity (what was I thinking?), until other members of the family restrained me, and I basically realized it's physically very difficult to force another person to read a book, unless you're dealing with a Clockwork Orange type of situation (which you will all be relieved to know I am not).
This, my friends, is the entirely awesome depiction of the house in The Diamond in the Window, executed by…Chestnut.
How did she know about the rope ladder? "Oh, I've been sort of reading it. I haven't read the whole thing or anything yet…"
She's thinking about, that's all. And making her own crazy excellent approach to something. In her own way. On her own schedule.
Parenthood is embarrassing.