Today in schools all across our nation there are reading programs directed at promoting reading. My son won an award at his school in one such program called the 500 club, for children who reach the 500 AR mark of books by the end of the school year. He won the award at 1166 AR points for the year. Yes he was in 5th grade, but he was reading books like Eragon, Harry Potter and the Shannara books by Terry Brooks. He has gone through 3 hardbound copies of Eragon in 3 years, reading it over and over again so many times that pages came out, covers came off and (the horror!) pages stuck together by whatever he was drinking at the time.
Do you remember your first book; not the first you read, but THE book. The one that pushed the ON button for you to be a Reader?
I do very well. My mother had gone to a garage sale and came home with a huge box filled with old books. My sister and I drove in to see what treasures she had found. Most were old and musty; but three of the books I still have to this day. Oklahoma Run by Alberta Constant, The Black Rose by Thomas Costain and Chicken Every Sunday by Rosemary Taylor.
I have read every one so many times I've lost count...Chicken Every Sunday made me at 10 years old want to own a Bed and Breakfast and cook twice baked potatoes, Oklahoma Run made me want to find my "Arch" and call my dad by his first name, and The Black Rose made me seek out more books about China...leading me to my all time favorite author; Pearl S. Buck.
These books turned something on inside me; the histories, the adventures, they took me to a place I could only dream of, opened doors of imagination that have never closed. Good books...ones that told a story...drew you into that world and left an imprint on your soul.
What books are you reading now that do that? What was the last book you read that you knew you'd never forget, that made your heart sing? What books are you putting in front of your children that might push that ON button?
Don't get me wrong...I read everything now, I can easily read a book a day if left alone. Some books are enjoyable, fun or thrilling; authors with wonderful imaginations are creating worlds we can get lost in...but seek out that one book...maybe one no one else had ever heard of, dig through those old dusty ones...there are treasures waiting to be found...