Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sharing My Thoughts on Reading


I found the quote above in a coffee table book that my sister, Gina, gave me years ago. The Charm of Simple Things is a wonderful book about delighting in simple things. Things like ... "reading, conversation, music. The sunrise, sunset, the beating of rain on the roof, the gentle fall of snow in winter ..." to quote the book directly.

The laughter of children. The crackling of a burning fire. Stars on a clear country night. The rustle of leaves. The feel of sand underfoot during a walk along the beach. Fireworks ... to name a few of my own.

I could go on and on.

But I won't, because I want to talk about reading. It's one of my favorite things to do. A gift that was passed on to me from my parents, as it was passed on to them from theirs. One that Rory and I have already passed onto both of our children. At (almost) seven, Jono can read well. And at five, Alia is so desperate to be able to that I think she may teach herself if they don't do it quick enough next year when she starts school !

I have always got books on the go. The photo above shows the books I am currently reading. Yes, there are six of them ! One of them is my Bible. Three of them are parenting books. Two of those I have read before but felt I needed to read again ! The other one is the book my friend wrote. (And no, I haven't forgotten, I'm going to tell you about it real soon !!) I'm reading a book about marriage, primarily my role as a wife. I may or may not share that one with you. I'm reading a novel that my friend Grace got me started on. It's in a series and she's got the other five !!

I've started keeping my books in a pretty basket that I found the other day at an Op Shop. Cost me $5.00 and it makes all the difference. I just carry my basket to where ever I feel like reading. I read all over the place. In the lounge, family room, at the dining room table while I eat breakfast, in the backyard on a blanket, in my rocking chair in the garage (where I sit when the kids play out front !), in the bath tub, on the toilet (but you probably didn't need to know that !).

The library is one of my favorite places to hang out. Books books books ! What could be better ? I have four library cards in my wallet now. Which means, if I wanted to, I could check out 120 books !! I'm not that wild though ! I do often come home with a half dozen to a dozen cookbooks, a couple of computer books, a few photography books, a few books about famous painters, books that the kids have chosen, DVD's, music CD's, books on CD for Rory who commutes, and a novel or two for me. The library is such a great resource. If there are books that I've heard about that I want to read, I go on-line and reserve them ( for free ! ) and just pick them up when I go in !

As children, my parents read aloud to me and my siblings. I remember them reading the Little House on the Prairie books, Narnia, The Hobbit, The Winnie-The-Pooh books, and In Grandma's Attic ... to name a few. I'm reading In Grandma's Attic to Alia at night before she goes to bed. It's not a picture book so she just has to listen. She does. It's a little above her comprehension level but I like that because she asks questions and we talk about stuff.

Reading, for me, opens up not only the imagination but a whole world of ideas and inspiration. It can be an escape. A place of learning, a place of stretching and growing. I laugh. I cry. I get mad. Frightened. Even irritated. I get attached to characters in novels. I'm always bummed when a great series ends ...

I'd like to share some of my favorites books with you, but I think that will have to wait for another day.


Khrista October 29, 2008 at 3:21 AM  

Love that quote...apparently I am too busy...I always have books on the go, but haven't stuck to just one and finished it since our roadtrip this summer.
G. on the other hand goes to the library weekly and picks up over 5 chapter books and finishes them ALL before weeks end! My Mommy heart just swells with pride (need to keep that in check) when I see her reading! Knowing that I was the one who taught her just adds a little more pride to the mix! ha! That's really neat to know that your parents read a lot of the same books that my mom read to us as kids. G. and I were so excited (more me at the time) when we found In Grandma's Attic at the church library! They have all of them! We are on the second one right now. She begs me to read them before bed! It's a little motivator to actually get to bed ontime too, because if she doesn't, we are both sad that we can't read!
Anyways...rambling over! This post was particularly poignant for me! I love the direction your blog has taken!

Cherdecor October 29, 2008 at 4:10 AM  

When our children were little, the library in town gave them library cards. They were so proud to go every week and pick up a stack of books. We were too poor to buy books, but because of the library, we had plenty. Today, our children are grown, and have huge vocabularies. For that reason, I think it is valuable for children to read when they are young.

Blessings to you and your kiddos,

A Captured Reflection October 29, 2008 at 10:21 AM  

I love books too, usually have a bunch on the go at the same time. I bought Dawn French "Dear Fatty" autobiography yesterday and am loving that - I also have a couple of others I'm not getting into, but give it a few more weeks and I may well do so. I had a Philippa Gregory phase, a Jodi Picoult phase and a few others...reading is a joy. My son has about 5 books on the go right now too - Famous Five, Secret Seven, a Roald Dahl. Emma couldn't wait to read either, she's 5.5 almost now and can read quite well already, so she's pleased - and I can no longer leave notes around the place now.

My Mum used to read to me when I was younger and one of my favourites was "The Secret Island" by Enid Blyton.

Thanks for sharing :-)

Unknown October 29, 2008 at 10:32 AM  

I must be to busy too, I books everywhere in the house but never or rarely get the chance to sit and read them.

Tessa October 29, 2008 at 11:14 AM  

My, how I relate to this story. My mother-in-law showed me how to read and do dishes and cooking at the same time. (Not a cook book either!) When I was young I was forbidden to read before school because I would forget to eat breakfast and go. I like to have a joke or humerous book handy, a light novel and somehting to get my mind into. I like to have a notebook handy to jot down interesting lines. Perhaps I should share some too. I love Bonnie's enthusiasm for everything in life. She inspires me to not grow old in the head! Can't help the body!

Demara October 29, 2008 at 3:20 PM  

I love reading too! But I do most of my reading now online. I use to read the real thing -novels- when I was in school, and enjoyed it very much! I especially liked to read those excited parts in novels out loud to the people that were around me. I tried doing that before with my husband but he doesn't want to hear it. So his lack of enthusiasm adds to my lack of reading "novels" now. I just am more excited to do things, I guess when I can share things with loved ones. So blogging is good! Because of friends like you. At least there is someone here I can share my enthusiasm with who may in turn be enthused as well, and want to hear what I have to say. Reading what you wrote definitely got me excited to read a novel again. Right now, I have one sitting on the back of the toilet "Piercing the Darkness". I SO want to read it, but don't feel there's much interaction with reading it. I LOVE interaction - that's why I love the internet more than the TV. Jeff is exactly my opposite!

Bonnie October 29, 2008 at 3:28 PM  

Demara ... I have read Piercing the Darkness ... if it is the one by Frank Peretti. Have you read This Present Darkness ? It actually comes before the one that you have on the back of your toilet ...

Sabba and Nanny October 29, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

Great post, Bon. I am so happy that we passed on the gift of reading to you, and you to your children. It is truly one of the greatest gifts in all the world. The word has always been of utmost importance to me. My Mom told of how I was like Alia, anxiously asking every day after I started school when they would teach me to read.

I was a voracious reader throughout school. From fourth grade on, I rode a bus to school—45 minutes each way. I always had a book going. In studying foreign languages, I always consulted books, whereas your Mom would learn by listening to and speaking to people.

Since being in Colorado, I have picked up the habit of “reading” with my ears. In the car and sometimes in the office, I always have an audio book going. I keep a spreadsheet of titles and authors, and in the past 12 years, I have listened to 1133 books to date. If I’m listening to a book that’s just so-so, it might take days or even a week or more to finish, but if it’s one of my favorite authors, I listen at every available minute, sometimes listening to a long page-turner in a day. I am anxious to get to the end, but then I’m disappointed that I have to wait six months until that author writes another one!

I still read with me eyes, too. I read things at work. I study the Bible. I do my language study. I read things on line. Most of my casual reading, however, is accomplished through the spoken word. (Interestingly, modern technology has allowed us to return to a day when communication took place in time rather than space—through the ear rather than the eye—a concept from a wonderful book entitled The Presence of the Word, Some Prolegomena for Cultural and Religious History).

Anyway, amen to your Sharing Reading post. I couldn’t agree more….Love, Dad

Terri October 31, 2008 at 2:29 AM  

I had forgotten about the books - In Grandma's Attic - they teach such great lessons. I'm going to pull it out to read to Shaelyn. Thanks!

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