Friday, November 8, 2013
On Books and Reading
I took this photo almost six years ago. I asked my husband and children to bring me some of their favorite books, and I added my favorite books, too. I couldn't include all the favorites--the stack would have been much too high--so I considered the look of the book's spine in my final decision on what to include. Tsk, tsk, judging a book by its cover, but this photo had to look artful, as well as be personally meaningful.
I had an 11x14 print made, framed it, and hung it on our living room wall. It's quite eye-catching, and visitors often comment on it. My daughter was only seven when I did this, so her contribution was the slim fairy book, but fortunately she did grow up to love (LOVE) Harry Potter, and Inkheart became a favorite book of hers, too.
My son doesn't read fiction any more. He used to read some really good stuff, but fiction stopped feeling relevant to him in his early teens. He is still a reader--he reads non-fiction, and he is always reading for information. Still, I hope someday he rediscovers fiction. I read to him while he was in the womb, and when he was a baby I read to him every day, before he could even sit up. I'd lie down on the floor next to him and hold the book up over our heads. His very first favorite was Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss.
I can't remember what my daughter's very first favorite was, but I do know when she was two her favorite book was Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, because she loved looking for Goldbug on every page. "GOLDBUG!" She is still an avid fiction reader, and may even read more than I did at the same age.
I always have books checked out of the library. My decision on what to read next is driven by what book is due for return the soonest. Many of the things I check out can't be renewed because they are in demand and have a long hold list, so I have four weeks to read it and then time is up. This means the books I buy to read go untouched while I make my way through my reserve list of library books, which is ironic, because when I buy a book, it's because I am too impatient to wait for my turn for the library's copy. There's a lesson in there somewhere...