One of the things I love to talk about is my favorite books. Another is my favorite authors. The problem is trying to choose which books and authors make it to my absolute favorites list.
I started reading voraciously at a young age. My mother read to me when I was very young, mostly from a set of Child’s World Books. How I loved those books! Besides the usual Mother Goose stuff, there were wonderful poems perfect for childhood and marvelous stories about such larger than life characters as Johnny Appleseed, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie and many more outstanding people throughout history.
I absorbed those books before I was old enough to read their words myself and long before I started school was able to read them cover to cover by myself and for myself. The hours spent cozily snuggled next to my mother while she read those magical books to me and made the stories and poems come to life surely influenced my entire life.
My older brother, too, is and was an avid reader. I was the same way about his reading material as I was his music. In other words, I read his books and enjoyed them just as much as I enjoyed listening to his records on the stereo. My elder by almost 5 years, it was his more advanced tastes in music and books that also shaped my own preferences. When our younger sister came along, she was accepted into the fold and enjoyed the Child’s World Books just as much as my brother and I had, until she tore them up. She was a destructive little creature but her demolition of the books wasn’t done from dislike of their contents, just a keen enjoyment for de-construction of any kind. She’s as passionate a reader as all of the rest of us in my family, including extended family. All of us, to a man and woman, love to read.
As children, all of us had mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and grandparents and brothers and sisters who read to us. Being introduced to reading and the allure of the written word during one’s formative years usually starts a person down a path that leads to a lifelong love and devotion for these things that never wanes. I read to my children. Hopefully you read to yours or will when you have one or more to read to. If you don’t have your own, maybe you can borrow someone else’s kids to read to. Reading to children…any children…is never a waste of time.
Reading opens the door to a world outside a child’s own existence and experience. It introduces children to new and different cultures, places, customs and people. It develops the ability to transcend the here and now and live within a story. What greater gift could we give children than the gift of knowledge and imagination?
I love this poem. I hope you do, too.
The Reading Mother
I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings–
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be–
I had a Mother who read to me.
This poem is in the public domain
Book Two in the Forever Cowboys Series is live now on Amazon, so check it out!