making contact with reading

May 17th, 2016

love those books






The more you read

The more you grow

The more you grow

The more you know

The more you know

The stronger your voice

When speaking your mind

Or making a choice

Pre- schoolers at my local elementary school see and are memorizing this rhyme posted in their library.  I say it aloud to them when I volunteer at Storytime.  I love making it my little ritual, watching them squat on the alphabet listening and repeating it back to me.  It reminds me of when I was small.

My favorite book was Suzuki Beane, a story about a wild blackhaired Beatnik girl who slept on a mattress on the floor in a pad with her hip parents, John and Marsha, and said, Daddio.  Suzuki ran barefoot when other children dressed up for church.  I loved the black and white cartoon illustrations.  Suzuki befriended a rich kid whose mother didn’t like her easygoing ways, but Suzuki’s loving character changed the rich kids’ family.  I wanted to be Suzuki with her confidence.

My father and his mother read aloud to me as I grew up, using special voices as we sat side by side.  They let me turn pages.  It comforts me to remember times besides other chaotic times when our house was torn apart.  Learning to read soon gave me a mental escape, while I rafted down my insane adolescence, reading what other people wrote about how they coped with their lives.

I love also audio books, because reading can be defined as “comprehension of the written word,” whether someone else reads it and we listen, or use our eyes.  We’re making contact with another human being.

Aren’t writing and reading magnificent human inventions?  Thank God for our written code, not every human societies had.  Spoken stories are valuable and sustaining, but we are also super lucky to pull something off a shelf and have direct experience with an author.

Doesn’t cost much, but time and curiosity.

I read to my own little children, and they remember reading certain books over and over because they loved them.  Whether or not they read now is not my business, but I know I gave them a family gift of contact.

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