Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tower Of Power


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...

Promote
Or
Write
Electrifying
Reading

Because in the end, isn't that all that matters?





18 comments:

  1. Yes! That's exactly what matters. (Love that tower of books photo!)

    Have you read Emma Walton Hamilton's "Raising Bookworms"? (There'll be a giveaway for it on my blog later this month.) The subtitle is "Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment". Exactly what you're talking about here. (Yes, she's the Emma who is head of our Hub FB Group.)

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  2. I was read to every night before be until I was in my teens. I read to my childen and we took turns reading to each other into thier teen years. My children are in thier 30's now and they still put books on thier christmas lists! I LOVE THAT!

    I think what worked for us, was that we shared the reading. Even when my son was in 1st grade, daughter in 3rd grade and myself as an adult, we shared the experience. I would read 2 pages, my daughter might read 1 and my son might read a paragraph or just a sentence, but we shared the enjoyment.

    OH and RULE #1:
    If it was a book before it was a movie, we had to read the book first!!!

    I wonder what would happen if parents were required to read a book aloud to thier kids, and then the parents had to write the little book report? hehe what fun!

    Loved your post. Don't know why I am so wordy today? Perhaps I should put pen to paper!

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  3. Love your writers goal..... TOWER OF POWER to

    Promote
    Or
    Write
    Electrifying
    Reading

    That book tower reminds me of the one in Prague, when you look inside it, it gave you the impression it was bottemless. Must find it.
    Thanks for this Donna.

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  4. LOVED this post!! Reading is so important, and it really does build imagination and character. I still remember a lot of the stories I used to read when I was young. So glad you did this with your son!! :)

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  5. I'm glad you liked the post, Beth. I woke up this morning with that acronym and the rest just fell into place. Its the reason why I've helped create Reading For Kicks...too many children DON'T know how or like to read...so sad...

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  6. Thanks, Louise, for stopping by. Glad you like the post! Every summer my mom knew where to find me...the library! Now I have my own 'library' in my home with a stack of books just waiting to be read...

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  7. Diane, I found that picture on the internet and I actually think it IS the one in Prague. I believe in your writing ability, Diane...this will be your year!

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  8. Thanks for your comment, Vicki! It really is how I feel and I try to encourage the children around me to read every day...

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  9. Enjoyed your post. You are so right about reading being the future of our children!

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  10. Thanks, Russ, for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed my post...come back any time!

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  11. Great post. Loved the story of you reading The Red Badge of Courage with your son! :)

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  12. Thanks, Susanna! Yeah, that one was bad but for me, the most difficult book I have ever read was Old Man And The Sea. If I would have been out in the boat all that time just talking to myself and that fish, I think I would have just gone ahead and jumped overboard! Lol...

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  13. Thank you, Mary Jo! I woke up this morning with that phrase running through my head...I'm just glad I didn't forget it before I could write it down! Thank you for stopping by and please visit again any time!

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  14. Beautiful post, Donna! I'm so happy to have found your blog.

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  15. Awww, thanks Annie! I'm so glad you stopped by. Come back any time!

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  16. Say AMEN, somebody!! Books have kept me from stepping out onto the ledge at times. Books can "tell" you that you can succeed when people tell you that you can't. Sing it, Donna!!!

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  17. Hahaha, Janet...i've never sang in the choir, but I do understand what you mean. If someone were to dump me on a deserted island, all I got to say is that they better drop some books too!

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