When I was a child, I loved to read. Adored reading. I would read whatever I could get my hands on. Sometimes it was not appropriate. I read it anyway.
My father worked long hours at the local steel mill, so he took the car. It didn't matter, because my mother did not drive. We were pretty much always at home. When the weather was bad, and we were cooped up, television was not often an option. We lived in a valley, and our aerial was up a mountain across the creek. That 750 feet of wire was often damaged, usually by squirrels nibbling on it. So...no television generally speaking. Books were my escape.
When I was in grade school, I was allowed to take one library book home a week. In the summer, the bookmobile came every two weeks and we walked into to our little town to wait in front of the post office with our returns. I remember the trip vividly because we had to cross a railroad trestle. I was afraid of heights and seeing the Brokenstraw Creek moving below me made me sick with fear. But...I liked to read and I gritted my teeth and crossed that trestle while my siblings waited for me impatiently.
Books were a precious commodity to me even then. We did not spend money on them because money was tight. If I was lucky, they were birthday or Christmas gifts. I had my books and I read them over and over and over. When my mother began to buy us the encyclopedias one volume at a time from points she earned buying groceries, I read those volumes as they came in the house every week. I even read the dictionary.
Now I am a grandma, and one of my biggest 'happies' is to buy books for my grandchildren. Iris received packages containing Christmas books this season, and whenever I go, I have books in my suitcase. William and I shop for books regularly. It is one of 'our' activities. We've been reading chapter books since he was in kindergarten, and he could always follow the story line. I don't ever want my grandchildren to wish they had something to read, and so I am their 'Book Fairy', scattering books with a free and generous hand.
Last week, William made a goal to read one hour and 15 minutes a day, up from his hour, and so to honor this request, Saturday we went to the store to take a quick look for books that he was interested to read. He picked out 'Dead Man in Indian Creek' and 'All The Lovely Bad Ones', Mary Downing Hahn is a new author for him, and the cover, combined with the description of the book on the back cover was tremendously exciting to him.
He got started on Dead Man right away and has been reading it steadily. Last night, he went to bed to read before lights out.
A half hour later, I passed by his door on the way to the bathroom to get myself ready for bed. I glanced in his door where he was sitting bolt upright in his bed holding his book. "Wait, wait!" he begged never taking his eyes from his page, "Don't turn off the light! I'm almost done!" It made me smile.
Shortly, he came to the bathroom door. "That was so exciting!" and he launched into an animated retelling.
From all appearances, the Book Fairy was just standing in front of the sink brushing her teeth in her flannel nightgown but inside she was leaping about, waving her magic wand, and shouting "ta-daaaaaaaaa!"