Listen to the Mustn’ts

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I absolutely LOVED Shel Silverstein’s silly poems. My father was a fan so of course my sister and I grew up with his books. I remember checking these out at the library all the time. I knew I had to have them for my daughter. Although she won’t really understand stand them until she’s older, I’m hoping she’ll enjoy them as much as me.

Some of my other favorites included the Peter Rabbit stories by Beatrix Potter, The Lorax (and a ton of others) by Dr. Seuss, and of course some classics like Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

My goal is to show my daughter the joy of reading, escaping reality every once and while, and using her imagination.

I hope that she’ll believe that ‘anything can happen child, anything can be’.

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Hey Boo

“Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough”. ~Scout Finch~ To Kill a Mockingbird.

For those have never read this, this is the description from Goodreads: “Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos”. 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is definitely one of my all time favorite classics. It’s one of the few that I’ve re-read in my adult life. I recall reading this in high school and having to analyze every single thing! Although I appreciated my English teacher, sometimes I really hated analyzing every. single. thing. And of course like many books I had to read as an assignment in school, I did not appreciate it until I was older.

One of my favorite characters was Boo Radley, although you do not get to “see” him until the very end. In the beginning he’s often depicted as someone dangerous, and someone to be afraid of thanks to the rumors of the neighborhood. However, in the end he is discovered to be quite the opposite, and it is only because Scout, one of the main protagonists, follows her father’s advice and “stands in someone else’s shoes”.

Aside from all the other heavy topics throughout the novel, I feel like this is the most important. Being able to listen and understand someone else’s story and not always believing all the hearsay from other people. Sadly this still happens all the time. I see it in my daily life, in the news, at work, it seems to be an ongoing crisis. All you can do is try to be a decent human being and listen to others and do you best to understand them. Like Atticus Finch says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”.

I hope to teach my daughter the importance of listening, understanding, and compassion. And I hope I get the chance to read this with her when she’s older, and learning the ways of the world and life.

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Bookworm Beginnings

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Does anyone ever ask you how you became a bookworm? Do you remember what sparked the joy of reading for you? Was it a particular book? A relative? A teacher?

I grew up with books all over the house all the time. My dad was an avid reader. He had books from all kinds of genres, sci-fi, horror, comics, true crime, biographies and autobiographies, history and who knows what else.

My dad took my sister and I to libraries all the time! The librarians knew our names, waved and smiled when we walked in, and it was just a normal thing. I really miss those days. I know I’m not alone when I say that “library book smell” is a real thing and its the best.

Aside from frequent library trips, my sister and I got to go to author signings, Ray Bradbury and Clive Barker were the main ones I remember! At the time of course I was more into E.B. White, Shel Silverstein, and R.L. Stine (Fear Street!). However, I recall some of my earlier childhood author favorites included Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Maurice Sendak, and Dr. Seuss of course.

Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, even when my dad passed away, reading was something I still enjoyed. I recall doing an extra credit assignment in high school in which I had to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and write an essay. And I feel like that was the first book that really had an impact on me (I haven’t read it since and probably need to re-read). I was surprised how much I loved it!

I’m grateful my dad played such a huge influence on my love of reading and really embedded the importance of it to my sister and I. And I’m even grateful for the chance I had to do that one specific extra credit assignment. I’m sure if I read The Alchemist now it might mean something different to me, but that’s what’s so great about books. At different chapters of your life, you can relate to a book in so many ways. Sometimes they inspire you, make you cry, laugh, or just feel good.

“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too.”