An inheritance of literary enjoyment

One of the most cherished gifts I have ever received was from my grandmother-in-law. I loved going out to see her, because she was an amazing woman–with such a strong personality that commanded respect–and also because she had one room covered wall to wall with books. She had every kind of book imaginable–a true mixture of genres, authors, styles. I would always borrow three or four books at a time until my next visit out.

And then, when she passed away two summers ago, she graciously left me her library. What a gift to be granted such a remarkable collection of history, fiction, non-fiction, biography, fantasy, etc. I was in awe and so thankful. I have been striving to build a decent collection of books since college and now–just like that–I have a respectable library.

Her endowment, however, also made me realize that it is one thing to build a collection for my own enjoyment, but more importantly, what a blessing it would be to provide my own children with such a complete source of knowledge and enjoyment right at their fingertips.

Here are two ideas for you (thanks to the ever-so-useful Google) on how to get your children more involved with reading and how to perhaps start them out with a small library of their own.

Scholastic Book Fairs
If you are a parent, you may have seen Scholastic Book Fairs from time to time hosted by your child’s school. Beyond these fairs, however, Scholastic also has a user-friendly online store with thousands of children’s books easily sorted by age, characters and series, subject and genre, etc. For more information, visit store.scholastic.com

Alabama Book Festival
Saturday, April 17, 2010
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It’s never too early to plan for next year! The festival is held once a year on the third Saturday in April at Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town. It features more than 50 nationally recognized writers, illustrators, publishers and more. There will be numerous children and young adult book writers, book sales, author signings, and a special children’s activity area. For more information, visit oldalabamatown.com or call (888) 240-1850.

I am an avid reader, and I am thoroughly enjoying my new library. But I now truly appreciate the importance of sitting down with my four-year-old son and reading to him as well.

My grandmother-in-law’s generosity gave me the incentive to contribute to a collection of books for my own children–in the hopes that, one day, they too will experience the same kind of literary enjoyment I received. I believe that this is one instance when (and if possible) the experience and resources should be handed to our children on a silver platter!

Written by: Béverly B.