Lorelei and I went to the library today. We love the library, any library really. In every city we have lived in, the public library or base library is one of the first places I search for. The base library here is small but jam packed with books, movies, study materials, and a small computer lab. We like going there and wandering, especially on days when Addie is not with us so we can take our time. We had a half hour today before getting Anya from school, so we walked over to the library. I chatted with the librarians as Lorelei dashed to the kid section. By the time I met her there, she had a stack of books that was up to her waist. She wanted to check out all of them and had some pretty convincing arguments as to why we needed each and every one (I talked her down to 10). We grabbed a movie, browsed the travel section, and signed the girls up for the summer reading program. By the time we left, I was hauling a backpack so full of books I felt like a pack mule.
I love that my children love books. All three of them share my love of reading. Addie could and will bring me book after book to read to her; some of hers are so dog-eared and worn down that they are not legible, but I can now read them from memory. Lorelei is so curious about reading and writing that she wants to try reading on her own. Anya is perpetually stuck in a book – on the bus, in the car, in her room, before bed, before school, etc. This is exactly how I was too and still am; I always have a book with me. Books are one of the few things I cannot say no to because they don’t feel like toys to me. One of our favorite family activities in the states was to go the bookstore on Sundays to browse and drink coffee/hot chocolate. I love that Addie needs at least 2 books read to her every night before she will go to sleep. I think it’s hilarious that Anya carries to many books in her backpack so that she can have a variety to choose from on her bus ride to and from school. My children LOVE books – proud parent moment right there.
Parents try really hard to instill values and behaviors in their children that are beneficial to them, but reading was a behavior I did not even have to try to push on them. They have always loved a good book and a warm lap to sit on while being read to. I know that part of it is my own example. I am always reading something, whether it be books, textbooks, newspapers, or magazines. I love feeling like I’m in another world as I read a fictitious story or becoming so engrossed in a news story that I feel true emotions like rage or sadness. I have books in the car, articles and books saved on my iPad, magazines stashed in my gym bag, and a large pile of books in my upstairs hallway for me to finally read when I graduate (or when I try to sneak one in anyways). Children learn by example, so I know that in this area, I am at least setting the bar pretty high. And they are answering it with their own enthusiasm!
I’m so glad my children love to read as much as I do, and I hope they keep this love forever. Reading has so many benefits, even if it means I grow a hunchback from lugging their books around. Next time I complain about reading “Duck on a Bike” yet again or try to find more space for all the kids books (and let’s face it, my ever growing collection), I will try to remember that this love and desire for reading is wonderful.