My granddaughter called tonight to ask if I’ve mailed her book yet. I ordered “If You Give a Pig a Party” from our Scholastic book club at school. It was a little slow arriving so she’s getting anxious. I remember that feeling. I used to order books one day and start checking the mailbox the next day! Wait, I think that was last week…
I’ve always loved books. I love the feel of them, the smell of them, and of course the stories and pictures. I remember going to the library with Mom. She loved to read and she shared that love early and often. As I got older we often read the same books and then discussed them. Some of my best memories are of the books we shared.
For a while we lived in an area served by a “bookmobile”. It was better than the ice cream truck! I always checked out as many books as they allowed. I tucked myself away in my bedroom and read for hours. I read in a tree in the yard. I read in the car on long trips. I read anytime and anywhere I got the chance. And yes, I’ve actually done the “flashlight under the covers” trick.
I also borrowed books from friends. My best friend, Elaine, had all of the Tarzan books. I read every one. I also read horse books and anything about fairies or gnomes or odd creatures. I loved science fiction and fantasy. I loved to read about far away places and people with special powers.
Sometimes I saved my money and bought a book. Mom and I visited used book stores and garage sales and flea markets. Now I also join book clubs and go to discount book stores. I exchange books with family and friends and coworkers.
I still love to read. I don’t have as much time, but I’ve found that if I keep a book by my chair in the living room it eventually gets read. ‘Course I also have shelves of books in my office that are “unread” or “partially read”. Most of them are non-fiction and are references for something. I read what I need to know and then save the rest for later. I’m not sure when “later” is going to arrive.
My children love books and reading. So do my grandchildren. It’s one of the joys of my life to know that I have raised a family of readers! So many of my students do poorly in school because they have very little experience with books. Their imaginations and language skills suffer because television and video games have replaced books in their homes. I wish I could convince more people of the value of reading. I’m trying- with my little group of students and parents each year. Now I’m urging you. I know you’re busy. I know you have other things to do. Pick up a book. Set your worries aside for a while. Read a good story. You won’t regret it.