Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It's about books!

Garry, over at I miei cari amici, has a wonderful post about his reading habit ("Readers Anonymous, anyone?"), and a great link to another piece about parental reading ("Mother Mayhem: You Can't Judge a Book By its Lover"). I reproduce here a way too long comment I posted there:

I still remember the smell of the old Provo Library (the books! the books!) and the aquarium. It was in the basement of the main library. Snip, Snap, and Snur. Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka. Mrs Piggle Wiggle. Blueberrys for Sal. Henry Reed, Inc. All the Dr Seuss's. I can remember rounding up a pile of books at the library and then going next door to the Provo Bakery for a chicken salad sandwich on a bun -- with chips and a pickle on the side. Books and food have much in common. We sup from the pages of a good book . Observantg Jewish parents are said to place honey on the pages of the Torah so their young students will learn to love to read the Law.

We read to all our children growing up (still do). It is a guilty parent's pleasure to reread the books we loved in youth to our own children. One of the joys of parenthood.

For long car trips in our family, we are always ship shape if we first go by the library and then ensure there are enough flashlights (and batteries) to go around. No DVD player for us! Books!

That's why Princess Bride and You've Got Mail hold a fascination ("In my day, TV was books" -- and the Shop Around the Corner): the mystique of books and the adventures between the covers.

I have to confess that I read more than I want to now. As a practicing lawyer, I read all day. Then come home -- and read less than I would like to because my eyes are tired and my brain is fried. (I also have to confess to needing reading glasses for the first time in my life...). I also find that I read more online than in hardbound volumes. I'm a news and blog junkie.

It's amazing how far we've come in building a community of words on the Internet. I remember my first AOL search (this was back in '96 when they boasted around 250,000 members and it was still rather primitive -- I think we had a 14.4 modem -- slooowwwwwww). My wife had misplaced an Amish friendship bread recipe, and offhandedly asked if I could find it on the newfangled Internet thing. I was amazed when a simple search brought up 5 recipes, and I could print them all up instantly (well, as fast as our old inkjet could print back then).

We also became homeschoolers in part because of our contact with other homeschoolers online. They gave us courage.

I'm thankful for my college-teaching parents (and bookhound grandparents) who taught me a love of reading.


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