Where the sidewalk ends

Did you read a lot when you were a kid?

I did.  When I was a kid, books rocked my world.  I could read all day, every day.  My book collection was impressive, if I do say so myself.  I had everything from Mother Goose and Winnie the Pooh, to Mr. Muggs and Mr. Men, to Beverly Cleary, Nancy Drew, Choose Your Own Adventures, Judy Blume, and Sweet Valley High.

I read and re-read books until they fell apart, and would often buy new copies with my allowance.  I was chronically late returning the books I borrowed from the library – not because I was lazy or forgetful, but because I couldn't imagine giving back the worlds I'd just experienced.  I had four tall bookshelves in my bedroom, and they were triple-packed with nothing but books.

I had an eight o'clock bedtime up until I was thirteen (and one of these days I need to ask my mom why!), but I never minded because bedtime meant reading.  Nothing beat getting into bed and snuggling under the covers with a book.  Just by turning a page, I was sucked into a Wrinkle in Time, stepping through a closet to Narnia, and finding out Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Even now, reading takes me out of my life, shuts up the noises and earworms in my head, and gives me a chance to be somewhere else.  And yes, my favorite time of day is still bedtime, when I get to crack open a book and escape the chaos of real life.

I have seven nieces and nephews, and so far, I can't tell if any of them are into reading. The last time I gave my nephews books for Christmas (Curious George), they were discarded like the "piece of crap present" my nephew Sean informed me they were. I was shocked.  I mean, CURIOUS GEORGE, people!  He lives with the Man with the Yellow Hat!  In one book, he gets sent to the store with a note around his furry little neck, but gets into trouble along the way because he's a curious little monkey!

I guess things are different now.  Maybe I'm old school, but it's as if kids are thinking, Why read the book when next year, it'll be made into a movie?

Please tell me my perception is wrong.  It would make me feel a lot better.

And to my pregnant cousin Mel, who reads my blog faithfully, be forewarned that your child is getting lots and lots of books from Auntie Jenny.

Don't worry, they won't be the ones I write.  :)


  1. When I was REALLY little, my mother read me a lot of books, and I remember the first book I learned to read on my own with no help; Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss! Then reading slipped from the graces of my hobbies, and it was good ol' faithful T.V.
    Then reading for leisure was reinstated at about age 15, and has stuck with me.

    I would agree that you're perception is right, except my 15 year old stepdaughter (by way of common-law?) has saved the day. She and her friends are non-tv watchers, they are avid readers. And it is fun to watch and listen to her tell me about the current book she's reading. Most are 'tweeny' but real full blown out books.

    If there is a movie coming out, she's fanatical about ensuring the book is read before she'd even consider seeing the movie.

    Ok - so maybe their little group doesn't represent the entire current kid generation, but all is not lost. Keep the faith Jenny!

    Oh - and, the baby and I look forward to the books!!! I've been reading to my belly since 5 weeks pregnant! :) :) Maybe baby will catch the writing gene from Auntie Jenny!

  2. Are my comments too long?? :) :)

  3. I would agree with your perception that today's children don't read nearly enough. However, i come from a family of teachers and avid readers, so hopefully this will continue. I couldn't imagine not being able to read, or not having a childhood filled with books to feed my imagination.

    I posted under anonymous...but i'm anything but. LOL.


  4. Smelly, your comments are not too long at all. I like that we discuss this stuff!

    D, since you have a Gmail account, you can post as yourself, unless you like hiding under that veil of anonymity... in which case, carry on. :)