Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gratitude - Day 13 (Books)

Tonight I loaded the Weekids into the car at 8PM to take Allison to our used book store. She had run out of books and it was "an emergency!" In her defense, she has been doing extra Weekid watching and I had agreed to compensate her in used books. But the hour of our book run was a prime example of the coddling I was referring to in my last post. That girl knows my weaknesses too well. I doubt I would have made it through my truly horrible middle school experience without books. And even now, I have been known to prowl the house like a jittery addict when I run out of things to read. I can't fall asleep without at least one chapter to ease the transition from real life to dreams.

So simply because her quirks mirror my own, I caved. And withstood squinty looks from the staff while attempting to keep Ben and Clara from completely trashing the small children's section thirty minutes before closing. So she could select a few borderline appropriate young adult novels.

Oh, and for the record, Publishers...if a book has sex in it, it should NOT be labeled YA. I don't care if the sex is between teenagers. That just makes it more inappropriate for my impressionable girl to read. Please move these books to the adult section. Or maybe create a new section called "Books with teenager characters that have sex and/or do drugs and curse like sailors." But I digress.

Later this evening, as I was sitting on the sofa with my husband watching Survivor no less, it dawned on me that in 2008 there are still many people for whom this experience would have been inconceivable. And by "experience" I don't mean wrestling a two-year-old out of a lovely display case of handmade quilts at the bookstore. (Oh yes, she crawled in and made herself at home!) I mean going to a bookstore. I mean reading a book.

I don't think I had ever thought about this before.

I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't love books. Being read to by my mother is ingrained in my earliest memories. It's one of the few things I was passionate about passing on to my own children. Realizing that there are still many children in undeveloped countries who will live their lives without ever reading, or being read to, is just another reminder that I will never really be able to comprehend how blessed I am.

So today I am thankful for books. For the people who taught me to read them. For growing up loving them. For passing that love on to at least one of my children (The jury's still out on the other three.) And for living in a society where I have access to more books than I could ever read, for free.

And, if I may make a plug, for organizations like Compassion International who are changing communities one child at time. So that hopefully, one day, no child will grow up without food, or medicine, or books, or hope.


painted maypole said...

books rock!

and compassion international does great work.

Spice Girl said...

Being in the book industry now, I know what you mean. I came across something you might appreciate:

Lori said...

Oh, what would I do without books? Did you know I have almost 100 books in my "Saved for Later" cart on Amazon?? So many books... so little time.

And the stuff they are putting out for "Young Adults" these days... don't even get me started. It makes me just plain mad.

Lisa writes... said...

Ditto on the note to publishers

Elizabeth said...

I feel the same way. It is so important to me to pass on my love of books to my kids. One is more of a bookworm than me, so I've done something right.

You're right about how inappropriate books are, including some from the elementary school library. I'm not usually a fan of censorship, but my ten year old's eyes are not ready for some of that.