I love to read. I’m always at it. Mostly I spend my time reading books. But when I’m short on those, I read the backs of cereal boxes in kitchens, shower gel labels and medications in bathrooms (yup, your bathroom too).
T-shirts, Facebook status updates and let’s not forget other people’s shopping lists left behind in the trolley.
- Contributor Post
- Author: Sara Sheridan
- Part 1
I read on a continual basis and if you were to work it out in pie chart form, next to sleeping, the biggest slice would be my time spent reading. Despite reading so much I am very selective about what I read. There is a process in choosing the right book. Firstly, the look of the book is important. I don’t pay any attention to whoever once said “don’t judge a book by its cover”. It’s the first and foremost thing that will draw me to a book I haven’t heard of. Aside from the blurb, the feel of the book in my hands will also play a factor in whether I buy it or not. I don’t like a book that is hard to hold. Particularly those first print edition oversized novels.
I need to be able to get comfortable with my book. We will, after all, be spending quite a bit of time together
I appreciate my books, I hoard them in fact. I never throw them away. The more dog eared my books are shows how loved they are. It’s my stamp of ownership. A memory made physical and my claim to something I developed a relationship with for a short time. I am also one of those reluctant book loaner outers. I feel my grip tighten on the book when I hand it over knowing full well I may never see it again. It causes me mild distress. It’s not too far off the feeling I got as a kid when I had to let someone play with my best toy & I could do nothing about it because “sharing is caring”.
More intensely though, I love children’s books. I collect them. I don’t dog ear these. They are little pieces of precious art in my eyes and I have special areas in my house to keep them safe.
As a child my mother read to me a lot. And when I was old enough to read myself I absolutely devoured them. I became completely and utterly absorbed in the worlds created in story books. The characters were as real to me as my family. It wasn’t until I had my own child that I realised my reading experience as a little girl was different to that as an adult. I began to read to my daughter and saw how she was able to experience a great story. A feeling similar to awe arose in me, realising I couldn’t experience it the same way as her anymore. All I had to go on was a warm nostalgia of how I experienced my favourite bedtime books. It seemed to be an experience only achievable by children who enjoyed reading.
My daughter is not far behind me in her passion for a good book. I have consciously made an effort to instill in her a mutual love and appreciation of books since she was old enough to listen but too young to talk. I read to her from the word go. Every night, for six solid years, I made reading something to look forward to at bedtime.
It was also a part of the day where no one could interupt us and we got away from everyday distractions. This meant that during our bedtime stories I was unabatedly her mother and she was wholeheartedly my child.
Then when she learned to read herself I actively encouraged her to enjoy reading alone. I still occasionally step in to read to her again so she can lie back and visualise the story while I get carried away narrating silly voices for the characters. It’s a pleasure to be able to read my old childhood favourites to her and witness the enjoyment she gets out of them as I did.
Of course my passion for good children’s books has raised questions in me as to why they are so appealing to me and so successful with my child and others…
to be continued