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. :)