Spread the love of books to children

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Once upon a time, there was a little boy and girl who loved sitting on their mama’s lap and reading picture books. Bambi was a huge favorite, and later Dr. Seuss, the colorful Berenstein Bears, a Walt Disney collection of Mickey and Minnie, and the Bible stories all became repeat topics of interest.
“Mama! Let’s read Bambi the baby deer story!” the little boy would say with excitement in his voice. He grew to know every page almost by heart, shouting out the next line with enthusiasm.
The little sister would mimic the storyline just a step behind, and often would pick the book up later and pretend to read out loud.
This mama is happy to say that both of those children grew up respecting books, treating them carefully, enjoying the adventure captured between two covers. A trip to the library was anticipated with delight.
Love of books. What is so fun for me today is sharing my love of books with these two young adult children of mine. Cort came home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and one of the first things he did was pull a book from his duffel bag, saying, “Mom, you just have to read this this weekend. I have to take it back with me, so I know you’ll have to do some speed reading, but you are just gonna love it!”
It thrills me to no end that my son has discovered John Steinbeck – on his own, not because a particular teacher assigned this to him – and he is attempting to read each of his great books as he finds them.
It is also a thrill that Cort lives close to the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and the fact that it is within walking distance is considered by him to be one of the great assets of his current location.
Both of my children remember that I cleared a shelf or two of what had once held beautiful decorative items next to our fireplace, deciding instead that it was a great place to keep their books. Both recall choosing a book off of our large stack of picture books based very much on the colorful covers.
“To this day, I still often choose a book based on its cover,” Cort said with a smile.
Caroline shares my love of cooking and baking, and a good recipe book will capture our attention for the longest time. It is a joy to see her light up when she flips through a new collection of recipes and cooking tips, and even more delightful to enjoy her finished products from the kitchen.
One book that has survived my childhood, and one I shared with my children, is a very old and well-worn Dr. Seuss book I received for Christmas when I was first learning to read at age 6.
It is The Sleep Book and is filled with all sorts of funny-looking creatures trying to head for sleepy-town. I still remember climbing into bed with my big sisters, asking if I could please read it to them. I was so proud of my new-found talent of sounding out silly words!
Special moments. On the first sunny spring day of each year, I have always enjoyed grabbing a light-hearted read and sitting in the sunshine, treasuring the gift of fresh air and country living.
In my saddest moments, I have often turned to books to help see me through. Life is filled with tough stuff – demanding days and difficult nights – and it is a true blessing to be able to escape into a wonderful book.
Books bring enlightenment, adventure, laughter, empathy, tears, bliss.

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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