Posted on | September 24, 2013 | 7 Comments
Ever since I was a small child, I found solace and comfort in the earthy, warm smell of the library. Bookstores would do, too, but there was something so magical about the freedom of hundreds of books at my finger tips, and all available for me to borrow anytime so long as I treated them with care and returned them on time.
When there wasn’t a library readily available, I would wander the aisles of Barnes & Noble with my birthday money clutched in my sweaty palms, seeking out the latest addition to a series I loved or a new release from a favorite author. I particularly enjoyed stories about horses and their girls (what little girl doesn’t?) and stories about quaint, small-town living. As I grew a bit older, I would find ways to sneak into the school libraries during lunch time. “Accelerated Reader” programs gave me the perfect reason to “catch up on my points,” and I would hunker down in over-stuffed bean bags, anxiously watching the clock between pages and willing time to slow down so I could finish one more chapter.
Throughout the years, reading has ebbed and flowed for me. In college, the time for pleasure reading was wiped out by hours pouring over historical references and analyzing poetry. I lost that bit of spark that makes reading so wonderful, and I had a hard time finding my groove back into the beauty of hidden worlds in novels. But last year, Taylor bought me a Kindle, and suddenly, I didn’t have to rush to the library or book story to read. It was a blessing when I was up in the middle of the night nursing and exhausted. I could turn on my favorite new novel and immerse myself for awhile in the quiet of the dark.
Now, as my children are at pre-school age, I’m finding I miss the feel of a book in my hands. We read to them every day, sometimes book after book. When they get too wild in the house, I make them come sit on the couch for some reading time, and it nearly always settles their minds. We also just joined a local library. It’s a bit farther from my house than the one that is technically my county’s but, they have an amazing children’s section and a little spot for kids to play. We try to go once or twice a week. I check out my new stack of books then lead the boys by the hand to their section. They play and whisper and learn to respect and love books like I did as a child.
I never knew what it was like to not love to read, and I hope I’m giving them that same gift.