Hello Blog Buddies!
It is no secret that I am a certified 'Book Lover' so I thought I would share my passion in a post...
I grew up in a household where books were treasured and loved. My Mother was an avid reader and she and I would spend hours discussing books, both when I was young as well as when I was an adult. Her book collection was vast and she was constantly asking my father to 'put in another shelf' somewhere. These shelves ran around doorways in my childhood home.
When people saw them for the first time and made comment, my Mother's standard reply was,
"We are very 'Book-ish' people..," which was often delivered in a tone that suggested
if you weren't, ...there might be a problem.
As a child, I was read to by my Mother every evening. I feel I must clarify here, that even as I grew up and was an independent reader, she still read to me and shared books she had enjoyed as a young girl. I would read my school assigned book to her whilst she prepared dinner, but then we would read a carefully chosen book together at bed time.
As a teacher and educator, I simply cannot stress the importance of this. Parents often think that because their children can read by themselves and are no longer under the age of ten, they don't need to read to their children. I would like to suggest otherwise. Whether my Mother was aware of this, or she just innately knew, I don't know, ... but by reading good literature to me each evening, I was hearing complex sentence structure as well as increasing my vocabulary on a daily basis. This of course, helped me become a better student at school as well as a better conversationalist.
My Mother also knew that books could be expensive, so she became very adapt at finding good books at secondhand book shops. (The Laura Ingalls book, above, still has the 10c price on it's cover) This actually made the books more interesting to me. Sometimes,
we would talk about where the book might have been and how lucky we were to have
found it sitting in a dusty corner, waiting for us.
As a teacher, I ensure I read out loud to my class every single day. I have yet to teach a class that doesn't enjoy this. In fact, "If we hurry up and clean the classroom quickly, we might have time for a quick chapter..." will always ensure a classroom will be tidy in record time! This current generation may not have the opportunity to develop a love of the feel of a book that I have. I love the tactile experience of a book... the smell of new pages... the feel of high gloss paper found in coffee table books... which is something my twenty-something daughter, who is an avid reader, does not seem to possess. Her argument, (which contains practicalities) is that she can take fifteen books with her on a trip in one electronic device... and her back and shoulders will thank her for it. Not to mention, when she moves, (unlike myself) she does not have to struggle with the heavy boxes of books that have followed me around the world!
The printed word is evolving and information is so much more accessible than it was. Electronic books are arguably environmentally more viable but I currently prefer to read a paper version. I think I struggle with e-books because my printed versions feel like friends. I can show you books that helped me escape difficult times and made me laugh when I never thought I could again. I have travelled to places and gained new friends, all because of books. When I visit people's homes, I often ask to see their book collections... (I think you can tell a great deal about a person by the books they read!) I also use books as a decorative item. Books can be found all over our current home, sitting on tables and propping up photos, and I like it that way.
Instilling a love and passion for books with a child helps to install a love of learning. I still like walking into a room with a wall of books and feeling the rush of excitement I get when I see a book I would love to read... You can't beat it.
I dear friend recently reminded me of a simple quote by Thomas Jefferson in 1815 which is;
"I cannot live without books." I hope to impart this passion for books to the children I teach and I hope parents continue to read to their children long after they can do it for themselves.