So, why don't more families do it? Mine didn't. When I was growing up, we didn't read books together. I'm not sure why. It's just not something we did. My mom read me picture books when I was little, but that stopped once I could read on my own.
My children and I read books together often. Most are fiction or biographies, but I slip in a nonfiction book every now and again. It is usually met with a few loud sighs and someone always asks how many pages it is, as if knowing how long the torture will last helps ease the pain of it all. I like non-fiction, they like fiction. I've tried lure them to my side and they've attempted to push me over to theirs, but we have finally agreed to disagree.
We generally read after mealtimes. A chapter or so a day keeps the book fresh in our minds and many times leaves them begging me to read just a little bit more. They discuss the characters as if they are friends and act as if they know how those characters are going to respond to the circumstances they are in. We can all get swept away in a good story.
The practice of reading aloud has made my girls incredible readers. They have extensive vocabularies because of their reading habits. It's given them a love for books, stories and characters. It is a lifelong habit that will serve them in many areas. I find that good readers are usually good learners.
I would venture to say that most elementary teachers read to their classes several times a day, but what about those of us who teach secondary students? It'll be more fun then you think. Go ahead, give it a try. You may even drum up a few images of Norman Rockwell in the process.