I love to read. I have since... well, forever. When I was a little girl I was diagnosed with vesicoureteral reflux and proceeded to endure same-day surgeries every six months from the ages of three to sixteen to make sure that my kidney was continuing to function properly in spite of the birth-defect. The only thing that made those days okay--IVs, blood tests, and all--was that my mom and dad took turns reading to me. Book after book after book. Hour after hour after hour. Talk about escape. I can still see the pictures of my favorite book in the children's ward: it was a Sylvester and Tweety story, a little squat box of a book that I made my dad read and re-read.
That early love for reading never let go. I still devour a couple books a week, and I don't feel at all guilty about it because I consider it research! And now, in addition to reading books for my own enjoyment, I have the distinct pleasure of reading to my kids.
It started with Sandra Boynton's silly tales. Then Laura Numeroff's adventures in cause and effect (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...). And now my kids' bookshelf rivals my own because I can't stop myself from buying books. There's something so special about owning them, reading them again and again, loving the corners to tatters and the staining the covers with morning chocolate milk and two-year-old drool. I know, I'm nuts. But I can't stop.
Yes, I love the picture books, the funny stories that rhyme and make my kids laugh. But now that my oldest has crossed the threshold of preschool, I'm starting to read chapter books to him. And to my delight, he loves them! We've made it through Stuart Little, a dozen Magic Treehouse books, Stink: the Amazing Shrinking Kid, the original Robin Hood, C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and we're halfway through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Our latest book seems a bit over his head, but he's loving it all the same. Best of all, as we read we're delving into some heady topics: slavery, oppression, what it means to be a man of integrity... Oh, books are much, much more than simply a diversion.
Anyway, what about you? Are you are a reader? If so, what (or who) got you hooked on books? And, if you'd be willing to share, what was your favorite childhood read? I adored Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. If you've never read Over Sea, Under Stone, you simply have to pick it up. Skip the library this time--buy it. Stain it a little. And then pass it on to your kids. They'll thank you for it.