I miss the kids of yesteryear where innocence was key and a smart kid was one who read the most books and not the one who could type the fastest. Keeping up with todays rapidly changing environment is one thing; but programming children into becoming some sort of junior android is completely another.
I'm old school when it comes to children and I intend to stay old school for as long as I live. My heart feels heavy when i see how kids nowadays miss out on the joys of childhood, especially when it comes to books and reading.
From when I was a child my mother ensured that I had access to some of the best books possible. From there on, my love for literature grew. There is such magic in a book. I mean one opens it and plays every word, ever page, every instance out in ones mind and enters into another world altogther. Of course there were the Enid Blytons and the Roald Dahls but the first novel that catapulted me into the world of "reading-under-the-night-light" was a Nancy Drew novel titled "The Girl who couldn't remember." I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved the book. I devoured each page and for a long time I worshipped Nancy Drew! I actually created some mischief or the other, pretended to leave clues and tried to solve the "case of the broken flower pot", "case of the missing keys", "case of the scratches on the walls";then a good case of "whacks from my mum" and there ended my career as a detective! Then of course I grew up and the first novel that took me to the next level was an amazing one "Tell me your Dreams" by the awe inspiring Sidney Sheldon. I fell in love with his writing and I've wasted (according to my folks ;)) precious many study hours glued to novels with the backup excuse every kid uses during study time "I have to use the bathroom!"
Don't get me wrong. I am hardly into what one might term "intellectual reading". I read for fun and I am picky about my authors. And though there are a set of authors whose works I adore, it took me a while to narrow down to one single author who blew my mind away with what he/she wrote. The inimitable Stephen King. Apart from the fact that he dabbles in horror which is my altime favorite genre, his level of imagination is one that stuns me every single time. Read "IT" and you'd understand what I am talking about. The man is a word warrior and one i worship! A teeny mission of mine is to collect every single book that he's authored. Halfway there already and I couldn't be prouder!
Which brings me to what I want to really talk about. Why I collect books and why I am building up a little library of my own. It is a little treasure trove that I would want to hand over to my son. I don't know if he will love reading ( I will try my best to inculcate that habit in him) and I also don't know the genres he would like (for all you know he would hate horror and be a die hard romantic) but it is in a way giving him a part of who I am. I have been collecting books since I was a teenager and for my son to see my progress; to see my path of travel from one book to another is something that I really want. Right now he's a baby and as I watch him sleep I wonder how well he would know me as he grew into a man. Would he know his mother as well as he should? Would he understand me as an individual? If I am unable to make him understand maybe my books can. When he sees the titles, the authors; I hope he can see who I stand for as an individual. And to remember the kind of person I was for when I am not around. Someone with an overactive imagination, who is completely floored by humour, pretends to hate romance but always has the heart of a girl in love, prefers enriching thoughts to faking intellectual ones and someone who always and for ever more will live to read a tale or two for the love of reading.