Yesterday something was posted at BlogHer that I need my readers to know about as well. Sassymonkey wrote an important post about books and their importance in her life. Not only did she ask us to share the books that have influenced us in our lives but by doing so, BookRenter, a company that rents textbooks to college students, will donate a book to a child in need, up to 1,000 books, through the Head Start through First Book program.
I can get behind that. Without further adieu, my post about books that influenced me.
I was always a reader. I was reading by the time I was four, one of those annoying precocious children who would correct the person reading a story if they dared to make a mistake. I’m not sure how my parents dealt with me other than by continuing to hand me books, books and more books. I devoured anything I came across. I actually blame my love of reading for missing most movies in the 80’s and 90’s. My parents tell me that I was present for any number of movies I claim never to have seen; it is likely I was sitting on the couch with a book in hand, unaware of the movie of the night.
Certain books just hit me in that amazing way that books do if you let them. The Secret Garden is a book that sits in the nearest and dearest places in my book loving heart. I believe the copy I received, a gorgeous keepsake hardback, was given to me by a book-loving aunt for one of my birthdays. It transported me to somewhere I still escape to on occasion. I can still conjure up the smell of that particular book. I can still feel the pages, the binding such that the pages weren’t all neatly lined up. I loved that book.
Similarly, the entire Anne of Green Gables series transported me to another time and place. And Little Women. And my grandmothers’ copies of the Nancy Drew books. And also my grandma’s horse books, older than my parents, My Friend Flicka and Black Beauty. Also, in second grade I read an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet and promptly developed a rather embarrassing crush on my reading teacher, referring to him as Romeo. I might not have understood that they both died at the end. Ever the romantic that I am.
These are just a few, mind you. The ones that stick out immediately when I think of books that I loved, so dearly, as a child.
I look at my boys now and wonder if they will be readers. And not just because-they-have-to readers but book worms, lovers and other descriptive words for people who choose books over other forms of entertainment. I read to them, with them, and always have. I am always sure to take advantage of the Scholastic book order when it comes home. (In fact, I totally snagged myself a book from one recently. Ann M. Martin wrote a prequel to The Babysitter’s Club which is yet another series that ruled my early reading life.) I wonder what book will stick out in their memories, what will be their favorite, what will change their views. Their lives.
And they’re lucky, these boys. They have books. So many books. I buy books for no occasion. Any gift giving holiday certainly nets them new books in larger quantities. Books are just what we do around here. We take regular trips to the library. Recently, when we didn’t stop as was passed our local library, LittleBrother exclaimed, “Bye li-berry! See you tomorrow!” And he was right. It breaks my heart to know that there are children who don’t have access to books like we do. I remember watching a documentary in which a high school senior had never owned a book of his own. I can’t even fathom.
That’s why I took the time to write this post. So that BookRenter will donate a book to a child in need. So that maybe that child will become a book lover. So that they will know the power of a book. So that maybe someday, when they’re raising children of their own, they might pass on the importance of books and that love might get passed on for generations upon generations.
Will you go comment about your favorite book? Or write your own post and link up? That’s all it takes to help donate books to children who desperately need them. Take a moment today. And then go read with your kids.
(As a side note, if you live in Ohio, you need to get your doopa to the polls today and vote. Some of you have very important levies that will decide how your library may or may not function. Go vote. Now.)