Thursday, March 02, 2006
Last night PC posted about Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day. I enjoyed posting my favorite Seuss books which led to memories of my reading journey as a child and thoughts of what my girls' reading journeys will be.
I wasn't much of a reader growing up. I know that might shock some of you but I've since discovered that I'm slightly dyslexic so I'm sure that had something to do with it. The summer before 4th grade my world changed. My parents told me if I read 40 books that summer they would give me an extra $20. Me and my entrepreneurial heart got all giddy. And while I fudged just a bit, I did read at least 35 books that summer (and still got my money). But more importantly than that, I finished that summer with a love for reading and since then I'm never without a book close to hand.
The Shoe Series, Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High. I devoured all of these and asked for more. But once again my life changed when at 13 I was given my first romance novel. I was instantly drawn in by the characters, their search for love and happiness and the struggles they faced and triumphed over. Since then the genre has changed and so have I. But I still love those stories. The basic optimism. The idea that no matter what's going on in the world, or my life in particular, there are people out there who come through the struggles to the happily ever after on the other side. If they can do it so can I.
There's no question that books have changed my life; enriched it, opened up ideas, places and dreams to me that might have otherwise stayed closed. I hope my girls grow up with that same awe, wonder and appreciation for the written word that I now have. In today's electronic age that's not all together certain. I'm doing everything I can to encourage them, reading to them, providing them with books, letting them see me read and write. I hope that in the next generation books don't become obsolete like rotary phones, tape players, and VCRs. There's simply no substitute for the good old fashioned word on the page. Even listening to the words loses something, the ability to paint the picture in your head any way you want to.
Enjoy today. Pick up a book. Talk to your kids about the importance of reading. Share your love and dreams with them. And tell us, what's your favorite book?
Mine is Gone With the Wind - no matter how selfish, egotistical and despicable Scarlett is at times, you have to admire her strength and appreciate the hardships she went through. Those moments, especially the despicable ones, molded her into the woman she was - even if she was blind to the love in front of her. Given the same situation I don't think I could have been as strong, fought as hard or survived as long as she did.