With all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, I wonder how many deals there were on books. I wonder how many people bought a book instead of a toy or a video game. Supposedly, Amazon.com sold 158 items per second on Cyber Monday; and even though I used to count on that online store solely for books, now it’s certainly for anything else. So, it’s no surprise, you’re probably saying, that a teacher and author like I am is promoting book sales. Of course. I’m not trying to be amazingly astute with my suggestion; I’m just reminding you about how special they are to give and receive.
Even if you’re not a regular reader, you probably remember at least one book that meant something to you. It spoke to your head or your heart with either its rhythm or rhyme, its ability to snag your interest with a colorful picture of a place you wanted to be or an imaginative character that made you feel like you weren’t so weird for being yourself. As you got older, maybe it was the suspense of the story or the unexpected twist at the end. Those are all the ways books were special for me.
And, now as I reread old favorites for my boys and discover new stories that they like better, I know that I’m creating a love for books, and hopefully a love for learning too. For we don’t just read books. We learn from every one of them. We don’t learn what the teacher might point out in the book; we learn how to open up the world for ourselves, sounding out words from Dr. Seuss if that’s what’s important right then, or picturing the action in our minds if that’s all we can seem to see.
So, we’re making a book list this year. Captain Underpants is on it. Let me know if you loved any similarly disgusting yet appealing novels for kids. I’ll bet when the wrapping paper is thrown away, and the toys have been pushed aside, at some point they’ll tell you about their favorite book and beg for another one.