“In the beginning was the word…”
Okay, so I’m not really going to spiritualize this post, but I do think this is something incredibly important. Our kids love books. Our oldest daughter is at the point where she is literally devouring new books, and burning through pages including words I never thought she knew. Her younger sisters are following close behind. Their beds are usually hiding a small library under and among the sheets, and even when I go to lay my head – I can usually count on bumping into a book left behind by someone who had taken our bed for a naptime spin.
They’re apples that aren’t falling far from their parents orchard. When my wife and I were dating, at one point she shared her favorite line from her favorite movie, “Ever After”. When the “Cinderella” character is asked to name her favorite book, she says, “I could no sooner choose a favorite star among the heavens.” Needless to say, I had to marry this woman.
I’m not sure where a love for reading developed. It was certainly being planted throughout my life, with trips to the library. When I was very young, of course I remember episode after episode of “Reading Rainbow” (humming “Butterfly in the Sky…..”). Growing up, I remember leaning toward the “Joke/Humor” books at the public library. My favorite story from Mrs. Connor, the librarian in grade school, was “The Five Chinese Brothers” – a book I now love to read to my children. In middle school, I remember enjoying the “Choose Your Own Adventure” titles, along with some science fiction. When the realities of life got rough, it was a nice to escape for a bit into a carefully crafted alternate reality, where resolutions came before you turned the last page.
In high school, I had a teacher named Mrs. Clarke who sensed I may have an appreciation for the written word, and recommended “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau. I’m not sure how she saw through my class-clown, poor grades, ADD energy self….to the nerd who could dive into the worlds crafted by such a thoughtful author….but I’m thankful she did. It’s a seed that has definitely grown through the years into a giant appreciation for literature – both classic and modern.
So tonight when I tuck my kids in, after story time and prayers, and they ask for – not a stuffed toy to cuddle with – but a book to keep them company….I’ll smile. I love my little bookworms.
(sidenote: I was going to title this post “bibliophilia”, but apparently the bibliophile loves the book for being a book, not so much for it’s content. According to the expert source of Wikipedia, a “bookworm” is the term used for someone who loves a book for it’s content.)