I have long had a love affair with words. When I was a kid, I would tote around Little Golden Books, Dr. Seuss’ wisdom and Highlights Magazines. The library up the street was my haven where my mother would take us every week for story hour and I would come home over the years with a stack of books that would come back with me the next week, only to be replenished. It was a foreshadowing of the pile that is often on my night stand. I would love to have built- in book shelves in every room to properly accommodate the bound pages. I really do have more books than any other type of item in my home. One of the perks of my job as a writer and radio host is that people send them to me for review or as research for our interviews and each time, I need to find places to house them.
When I was young, I was being read to likely from way before I knew what written words were. My parents and maternal grandmother often held a book in front of me and pointed out letters and words and asked me to repeat them until lo and behold, one day it made sense to me and I began putting them together in a coherent manner. Pretty soon letters became words became phrases became sentences became paragraphs became entire stories that I could read out loud. As I wrote that last sentence it was as if a snowball was rolling down hill, gathering speed and clumps of the frozen white stuff to make it larger and rounder until it stopped at the bottom, crashing into a tree. I continue to invest much of my time turning pages; some for pleasure/leisure and some for learning. Makes no difference the reason; I can’t imagine not enjoying soaking my brain in book brine.
When I read to my son’s girlfriend’s 3 year old and point to a sentence and ask him what it says, no matter what the book, his giggly as if he knows EXACTLY what he is doing response is “Once upon a time.” Collin can read words quite well and even if he recognizes them, it is still the same answer. He watches Word World often and we sometimes pick out words that he knows. We play all kinds of games, when he has the patience for them, that involve brain stimulation and creative thinking. Just as my parents did for me, I want to do for this young wise man so that perhaps when he grows up, he will delight in reading to the children in his life.
And they lived happily ever after.