Do you remember Book It? For those of you who don't know what I am talking about Book It is a rewards program for students. As I recall I had a purple Book It button and for each book I read I received a gold star. Once I accumulated a certain amount of stars I got a free pizza. Obviously the idea was to get kids into the habit of reading. I will let you ponder your feelings about rewarding good behavior with food...
I think I was already a good reader before Book It came along. I can't remember a time when I didn't read. I know my parents read to me when I was too little to do it myself. I have memories of reading on snowy nights in my bed by the light of the lamp and feeling sooo intellectual (just so you know the book was Bambi and I was 8 or 9). I remember reading a book about a mummy and a jackal and being too frightened to sleep in my room, so I slept on the extra bed in my brother's room for quite some time.
In college I started a ridiculous project; I set out to read "the classics." The problem is that I did not clearly define what I meant by "the classics" and as a result I have been all over the place with any piece of literature I deem to be a classic. I just finished The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Short Stories by Tolstoy and am currently reading Treasure Island by Stevenson. While I am sure that I will not ever make it through "the classics," I am content to keep working on this unattainable goal.
For those of you who are big readers, do you keep books and re-read them? I do. I am not a hoarder by nature, until it comes to books. I keep telling myself that the library does all of the hoarding for me, but there is something about a bookshelf full of my own books that gives me such comfort. I generally pick up my books at thrift stores and garage sales, they aren't heirlooms, but it hurts to let any of them go. I mention this because we've been trying to shift our books around in order to make room for baby and I am realizing just how attached I am to these books. I think the solution is going to be that we box up some of our books for a while. I think it will be like Christmas to open the box in a year or two and find all of my old friends waiting patiently for me to dive back in. We'll see.
I think this year and the next few years to come will be all about re-reading those books I remember so well from childhood and discovering some new books that our daughter will be sure to adore.