Friday, October 15, 2010

Between The Pages

"Grammy, I always have my book. I have a lot to read," Gabby informs me as she settles to read the adventures of The Boxcar Children, her new favorite book.

This is good news. Gabby is not a reader like her sister. Books are making their way into her life but more slowly than I would wish. I encourage the girls to love books by hanging out at Powell's Books (http://www.powells.com/). We read, we draw, we browse talking about books we see on the shelves. I love it when the girls ask if we can go hang at the bookstore.

I didn't find this love of books at home. I don't think my parents had time to read let alone read to me or listen to me read. No, I found my love of books on my own. I remember playing school with my little  books. The poetry and pictures drew me to the books time and time again until the book became tattered from use. I read to my dolls and played school using my books. Much of the poetry still comes to mind now and then.

I fell in love with thick novels. James Michner taught me about the world giving me a favorite in The Source. J. R. Tolkein took me into a world of hobbits capturing me with an hunger for more. Edward Rutherford gave me a love of Ireland. Diane Gabaldon wrote a mighty fun adventure that began with Outlander. My favorite author, Victor Hugo, gave me Les Miserable. The story captured me and has held me ever since. His words about life and love spoke to my heart. Mysteries by Coulter, Johanssen, Neggers, Barr and Garwood became my favorite fast read, while I still on occasion fall back on the classics. Right before his death, Doug Adams passionately wrote Last Chance To See, and I lovingly read it. Books.

My granddaughters know that I always have two books going at a time. One book resides in my car with a cool collapsible book holder I found at Borders. A book is always at hand for long waits at the doctor's office, lunch alone or just sitting in the park. A book resides at home for a quiet night alone. Nothing better in the colder months than soft jazz, a lit fireplace and a wonderful book.

"Grammy, can I read to you?" my preteen granddaughter asks. The next thirty minutes pass with us laying back against the pillows on my bed as my granddaughter shares a story with her grams.

Other nights I volunteer to read with Gabby. "Grammy, you read your book, and I'll read mine, okay?" she asks.

We cuddle side by side on her single bed turning pages. "Grammy, listen to this." She reads a passage and an opportunity presents itself. A step closer to loving books.

We don't need to work at raising these grandchildren. Sometimes it happens just by the example we offer in just being ourselves.

A stack of unread books sits by my bed waiting their chance to either ride in my car or find their way to the coffee table. Books. They do a body good.

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