Friday, March 1, 2013

I Heart Reading

Since tomorrow is Dr. Seuss's birthday, today is Read Across America Day. This is an event that I can get behind 100%. I love to read. It's one of those things that goes hand in hand with loving to write.

I have always been a reader. My mother read to me often when I was little so that she could practice her english. I am so glad that she did. Not only does she speak amazing english, but I was opened up to a world of, literally, endless possibilities.

As I got older, I started to devour books. I loved Nancy Drew, the Babysitters Club, the Boxcar Children, anything by Roald Dahl--I could keep going. When I found an author I liked, I read everything by them at the library. (I still do this!) I used to fill my little red wagon with library books every week!

Choosing is so tough--reminds me of a mini-me :)

When I got to high school, the one genre I couldn't get into was classic literature--specifically British classics. That lasted until Sophomore year when our student teacher in Advanced English brought Great Expectations to life for me. He translated the wordy Olde English into terms that I understood. (It didn't hurt that he was a total babe, either!) Now, Charles Dickens is one of my favorite authors. :)

In 2004, I moved in with my, now, husband. He grew up hating reading--seriously hating it. I didn't understand. He didn't understand how I could spend ours at a time with my nose in a book. That was until we were at Camp Lejeune and he was assigned to guard duty at the ASP (ammo supply point). The men were at the duty hut for 48 to 72 hours at a time and worked 12 hour shifts.

You can only watch so many movies, and play so many video games.

The Hubbs came home one morning and told me that he had been reading.
My husband? Reading?!

I immediately interrogated him. What had he been reading? Who had he been reading? Did he like it? Why now? Did he want to continue reading?
It turned out that he was reading a novel about Marines (go figure) and he liked it because it was something that interested him. He also said he wanted to continue reading, but didn't know how to pick out more books he'd like. Using my library expertise I found a few authors he might be interested in, and chose a few for him to try.
I could see the memory of all the horrid things he was forced to read in school flash in his eyes. (He confessed he has a problem with reading comprehension.) For the first time since he shipped out to Boot Camp, my husband was nervous. I remember thinking, sheesh, they're just books! 

I told him very calmly, "It's okay, if you don't like it, don't read it. You can just try another one."

With those two sentences, I created a monster. In less than a year, he owned more books than I did! (I think he still does, actually.) The day he dragged me to the used book store in Jacksonville was one of the happiest days of my life.

the current state of our bookcase
I think it might be time for another one....

One of my proudest accomplishments is opening my husband to reading. Not only for his enjoyment, but because now I have a partner in advocating reading to our girls. It's nice to know that if I'm not around to read them a bedtime story, Daddy has no problem stepping in. (Although, Mommy is better at it I've been told.)

Reading together is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children for so many reasons, but mostly because it's time we get to spend together.

Tonight, we're finishing "Ramona the Brave" by Beverly Cleary. Happy Reading!

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