I "borrowed" this sign off the internet. It was advertising some bands from the Bay Area of California. I like the way it looks, but more importantly I like the vision I immediately got when I first saw these words.
If you don't know by now, I love books. Any kind of books. Children's books, non-fiction, horror, humor, self-help, new age, religious, biographies, historical...you get the picture.
I started reading when I was about 5 years old and haven't stopped a day since then. One summer, one of my books I wanted to read for my local library's summer reading program was a children's version of the dictionary. It had lots of pictures and simplified definitions of probably only 100 words, but I can still remember clutching that book like it was gold as I carried it home to read it. And read it, I did. Every page. Every word. In fact, when I finished that dictionary I asked my mom if I could go back to the library for more books. She didn't believe that I had read every page of that dictionary so she tested me on my knowledge. Guess what? I passed! My mom was surprised, but I guess she must have known then and there that she had a reader on her hands.
The ability to read is probably one of the most powerful gifts we can instill in children. It is the key that unlocks the door to knowledge, adventure, compassion, and just a better understanding of the world around us. Reading can cripple a person's s awareness of their place in life as easily as it can lift them up to a better version of themselves. The true power lies within the written word and as writers, it is our calling and our duty to electrify our stories so that future readers will be inspired to continue reading.
When my son was very young and could barely crawl, I read to him. Every children's book I could get my hands on. We read about Winnie The Pooh and The Giving Tree and The Berenstein Bears as well as thousands of other characters who came to life for my son every time I opened a book. Of course I got tired of reading the same stories over and over and over...that comes with being a parent...but the fact that I was instilling a love of reading was far greater a purpose to me than my being momentarily bored with reading one story repeatedly. That's how my son learned to start reading to me.
We would spend time reading every night together before he fell asleep. This lasted until he was almost a teenager. It didn't matter that he could read on his own or that he had developed his own taste in certain books like manga (a style of writing I personally could never get into, but to each his own, I guess...lol), we would pick a book of common interest and find comfort in discovering adventures within those pages together. There was even a time when my son was in high school and he had to read The Red Badge Of Courage. Try as he might, my son simply couldn't get into the story. For him it was BORING. So he came to me and asked for my help. I also didn't find that story of be of interest to me, even when I recognize it's literary significance. But what else could I do? We lay across my bed every afternoon as I read to him like when he was younger...I read the words and we both soaked in the essence of the story until my son was able to complete his homework assignment.
Reading...it's the foundation of the strong spirited person. Reading...it's the lifeline to the overwhelmed. Reading...it's the future of our children. We as writers have within us the power to create magic, to save a life in turmoil, to keep that child on the road to a better tomorrow. We as writers have our own Tower Of...
Because in the end, isn't that all that matters?