The paradoxical virtue of reading lies in distancing ourselves from the world so that we may make sense of it.
We human beings build houses because we're alive, but we write books because we're mortal. We live in groups because we're sociable, but we read because we know we're alone. Reading offers a kind of companionship that takes no one's place, but that no one can replace either.
Reassured, we left their bedroom without understanding-- or wanting to admit-- that what a child learns first isn't the act but the gestures that accompany the act. And although it may also help them learn, this ostentatious show of reading is primarily intended to reassure them and please us.