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.
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My parents were always reading and I picked up that habit real fast.ReplyDelete
It is sad that boy hated reading.
It's all about balance. When I was growing up, video games were just hitting the market (think Pong and then Atari) and we ate them up. We had cable. I listened to music all the time. And yet I still read.
Balance for sure is the key.Delete
I still have all my childhood books (my mom even saved the ones from when I was a toddler), and my kids have enjoyed some really great stories that will never see print again. Reading them to my own children (years ago, now) rushed me right back in time to where I was when I used to go over them again and again. Thankfully, my parents and my in-laws loved to read, so my husband and I grew up with a love of reading, too, and our children have inherited that. One of my kids said, after learning that a friend hated to read, "Wow. His world must be so small."ReplyDelete
Small indeed. That is awesome you grew up in a family that gave such a wonderful gift and that you were able to pass it on.Delete
This post is lovely, Brandon. I can't imagine a world without books, and I often send books to friends and relatives. I'm especially proud to be able to give books by my blogger friends and books I've edited.ReplyDelete
I am the same way and a world without books is a bleak place if you ask me.Delete
Growing up, my parents had library section so I was always surrounded by books. It was my favorite place in the house. I'm actually bummed that I didn't bring any of it over when I came to the US, it would have been wonderful to share them with the kids. Ah well, we can start a collection up for the grandchildren now, though. ALL physical books!ReplyDelete
That boy? I feel so sad for him :(
That would have been cool if you could have brought them, but yes the best thing about collecting books is you can do it at anytime. I'm glad those precious babies have such a great mom.Delete
Epic news sounds epic :)ReplyDelete
I dig those quotes. Very nice. I think my progression as a kid was Hobbit, Narnia, LotR, Silmarilion... and then I got into 'Choose your own adventure.'
I read Pat's blog, too. And it's good. But he needs to write day three. Period.
I just wrote an entire paragraph on kids and "ADD"... then chose to save it for another day, another soapbox. It felt like quite the tangent.
Glad to see ya online again
Yes day three would be nice although he is putting out an "I'm Sorry" book for people waiting it is in the same world. I was one of the odd ones that didn't read LotR until I was older. Can't wait to read your tangent.Delete
I didn't realize there was a filler book coming! That's cool. Looking forward to that for sure!Delete
Wonderful post, dude. We share some book history there. Charlotte's Web is one of my all-time favorites. Children are treasures entrusted to our care. Love them well. And show them there is no place they cannot go if they but turn the page.ReplyDelete
That's awesome it is a very special book to me. I agree wholeheartedly, we are responsible for who the children in our care become to some degree. I want to let mine dream and dream big.Delete
Great post. I totally agree. I grew up in a very book rich environment and I'm trying to do the same for my kids. I often buy books, not toys for my nieces and my children's friends also. Books add so much to life.ReplyDelete
Books are the best gift I can think of it is like giving someone and adventure. My favorite thing is when I see a kid that wasn't a reader find out what they have been missing.Delete
Awesome post! When people say they don't read, it drives me nuts. I don't think they understand how much they're actually missing out on. There's so much to life beyond your phone and your social media. Seriously, put it down and pick up a book. ;)ReplyDelete
Agree completely. Honestly, if they would take the time and try it most would fall in love.Delete