Friday, December 13, 2013
Buy a book.
I was raised by a single mother. My circumstances were as such that there wasn't even a weekend visiting situation or holidays. Luckily, I had a mom that filled both rolls quite well and most times I never felt the loss. We are shaped by our surroundings to varying degrees. Statistically broken homes can at times produce broken children. In all honesty I can thank books as part of the reason I look fondly upon my childhood.
One of the first books I remember my mom reading to me was The Saggy Baggy Elephant. A book I have recently purchased and can't wait to read to my soon to be born son. It was a great Story about an elephant trying to find where he fit in.
I was lucky in my life to have a second mom. My Godmother who I grew up calling Mamma Donna. I found the Narnia books in her library that started me on my path to writing fiction and fantasy. Still, there was a book before those that honestly shaped me as a person I still think about it at times in my adult life. That book was Charlotte's Web.
My Godmother would read that book to me often. While I did find the movie eventually and enjoyed it immensely, I will always hold to the words of that book.
“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.'
“You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing...after all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die...By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”
― E.B. White
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
― E.B. White
“Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.”
― E.B. White
Even if I never became an author, these books were my friends. They taught me lessons and gave me comfort and to this day reading can make me feel better no matter the situation.
I was at the store buying gifts for my kids the other day and while waiting to pay I overheard a conversation. There was a boy maybe thirteen or fourteen and he was asking what was inside a box sitting on the counter.
The man checking people out said, "Oh it's a collection of books."
The kids face scrunched up like he'd smelled something bad and he said, "Oh, never mind, I hate books. I can't stand them." With that he walked off and most people around me seemed unfazed.
As for me it truly hurt on some deep level. Not only did I feel offended as a book lover, but I felt bad for the boy.
I was reading on Patrick Rothfuss's blog and here is a link to it. LINK. About families now that have no books at all in their households. I understand that in the world of super ADD and attention spans that make gnats look like studious scholars, it is hard to get a kid to sit down and do something that isn't easy. Still it is worth trying.
If you know someone who has or have small kids yourself, in all the video games and iTunes gift cards and all the other plethora of electronics they are given this year, think about buying a book. Who knows, you could be the one responsible for making them a better person.
Anyway, these are some of my thoughts. I have some cool news I hope to get out in the next week or so. As always have fun and keep writing.