Because they are awesome! Although their reputation is falling a bit, don’t you think? I mean, what with all those dolled-up apps, the video cool crowd and fancy toys that actually DO things, books might seem, well, boring. NOT SO. But don’t just take my word for it. Mo Willems – one of the best authors out there for children (and adults who read to children) – has a lot to say about why books.
Now, I know this information might reach you a little late. If you’ve already gathered all of your gifts, then telling you to give books as a present isn’t very helpful now is it? BUT. In case you haven’t completed your shopping list and still have a few things to pick up, then think on giving books.
The reason I find books one of the best things ever – for everyone – is that books tickle you. Only they need a little help to get up off the shelf. From you.
I never used to read outside of homework. Oh, the occasional Judy Bloom while I was growing up (oh boy does that date me?!?). Until I met a writer who I fell in love with. He was my first real boyfriend. A writer. And bartender. This was in my early 20s. You can imagine the attraction.
As he brooded on in his tormented writer ways – and mixing excellent drinks might I add – he read. He read A LOT of books. Books I couldn’t understand to tell you the truth (Ayn Rand, Nietzsche) but what is a girl to do with a beautiful reading beau but curl up with a good book, too?
Sadly, he had to go. But the books stayed!
And lo these many years later, I’m still reading. Only I know so much less now than I did when I first started. How’d that happen? See, what was tickled for me wasn’t just my imagination – though that did get kickstarted along the way too. What was tickled for me was my info-bone, if that’s a phrase. I became a voracious reader because I realized that the more I learn the more I want to learn. That could be aging, too, but I’ll credit books with it for now.
Also – and this goes a long way for me – books need us. A book is virtually helpless without a reader. I get a little emotional when I know I’m needed. For books, we have to show up, interact, be present. All good things to do in life, to model in life, to teach in life.
So yeah, I heart books. If ever you’re stumped on what to give, give a book.
I’ve got a few favs: Mo Willems of course. The new I See Me fairy book is awesome. Right now, I’m reading an oldy escapist Michael Connelly Harry Bosch thriller and my husband is reading Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story. What about you? What are you reading?
photo credit: Ian Wilson