Block 24 - Books! There has been great discussion about minimizing the number of books to add more of the fun stuff, but without the balance of both - the shelves will look a bit like a curio cabinet with a smattering of reading matter and the truth is, that while I love the stuff, I want my kids to remember that it was the books that held the doors open to all the adventure.
I've always been a big, voracious reader. I love all different genres - and it all started with Laura Ingalls Wilder and this box set I got around my 9 year old Christmas:
Of all of the books, Little House in the Big Woods remains my favorite. I wasn't a big supporter of good 'ol classic reads until I had my own kids and began reading with them - something we did all through their growing up. Some of my favorite authors were Beverly Cleary (Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ramona series), Gertrude Chandler (Boxcar Children), E.E. White (Charlotte's Web, Trumpet of the Swan), anything by Lois Lowry (especially Gathering Blue), Lynne Reid Banks (Indian in the Cupboard), CS Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia Series) and of course (when they were old enough) the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling.
While my kids didn't all start out as avid readers - they came to love it simply by it being a constant presence in our lives. From the time they were small (think Goodnight moon and Where the Wild Things Are small), we read before bed every night. And because of the time and love we shared they kept reading as teens and now as adults. (side note - when HP 7 was released, all of my children were in high school and they still begged me to read it out loud to them in the evenings!!)
I'm grateful to them too because they keep me on my toes by introducing new books on tap! (Twilight -way better books than movies, Hunger Games, The Map to Everywhere, The Forbidden Library, Gregor the Overlander Series, The Dark is Rising Series, Dorothy Must Die, The Queen's Thief, Inkworld, Percy Jackson, John Green's books. And then later as they became young adults - The glass castle, Room, Sarah's Key, Still Alice, Wild, Night, Orphan Train, the Divergent Series, The Goldenfinch, Eleanor and Park, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Match Series, Maze Runner Series...) The list could go on and on.
Books are such a wonderful escape, I am often at odds as to why more people aren't readers. I realize now after raising my children that it is what one puts in to teaching to read that really matters, it is the time well spent in investing in the adventure WITH someone, that makes the greatest impact.
As I sit here I am listening to Harry Potter 6 on audiobook again for probably the 20th time. I love this series. So many are blinded to the genre of the book that they miss the greater lessons and messages that come from these books - Here are my favorites.
So for all of you looking for just more book squares? Try these (mostly) book only patterns on for size!
For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. … Anne Lamott
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