01-23-18 The Dangers of Reading

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately, mostly mysteries or thrillers, and I have once again landed on a conclusion I have held for a long time- at least for me, reading can be dangerous. I love reading. I love getting lost in a book, my eyes devouring the words almost faster than my mind can process them. I flip through the pages as I get emotionally invested in the characters, rooting for them in due course. But when I make the mistake of choosing fast-paced, edge of your seat books, I run the risk of their adrenaline seeping into my real world, and so it has. I tried to temper it by reading an easier book at the same time, so I could alternate between them, but to be honest all the reading has put me a little on edge, so for the next little while I will stick to calmer waters. I’m excited to finish my ‘easier’ book, Anne of Green Gables, surprised that I had not read it in my youth. I think I started it once or twice, but never actually got through it. So for awhile, it will be just me and Anne (with an ‘E’ of course.)

As for my children, Big E is up to 96 books, C is at 89, and Baby E is at 45 since January 1. We read at least 4-5 books each night, and this evening was no exception. The one that made me laugh the most tonight was called “Everyone Loves Bacon.” In it, everyone does love Bacon, and Bacon knows it. He becomes arrogant and self indulgent, prideful about how much he is adored and how great he smells. He becomes a celebrity, forgets his old friends back in the fridge, drives fancy cars, and wears a fancy mustache. That is until…

He gets eaten. The End.

What I love the most about reading with my kids is watching their faces as the stories unfold. Sometimes they smile, sometimes they get worried, but nearly every time they get involved. I ask them questions as we read, they offer information, they try to guess what will happen next. Some of the books we read are pointless, but most of them seem to come with a moral, and I have found that the sillier the story, the more likely my kids will remember the lesson.

My favorite book that we have read so far was called “How I learned geography.” It was told from he point of view of a boy during WW2. His family had fled their homeland and ended up living in a refugee camp with no money and very little food. One day the dad goes out to buy food, but instead returns with a large map. The mom asks what happened and he said that he knew he didn’t have enough money to buy enough food to do them any good, but instead he got the map and put it up on the wall. The little boy was furious with his father for doing it, but over the next several days, the boy would stare at the map and imagine himself in different places around the world. His imagination was able to tear him away from the absolute misery that his family was enduring, and it helped him to survive the lonely existence he was experiencing. My kids sat in awe as I read the story. They don’t have much concept of war, or hunger, or extreme poverty, so the story was a great lesson in those things.

 

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