Violet is less and less a baby with each passing day, but of course she’s my baby, so we’ll skip the semantics and get on with it. I’ve been reading to the child since she was an infant, in those endless colic-y days when I would do anything I could think of to take my mind off of (or even just soften a little) the screams of my helpless baby. When she got older and we started forming a bedtime routine I began reading Goodnight Moon as she sat on my lap. I quickly memorized it and can recite it if you ask, even though we haven’t read it in a year (someone chewed on it until the binding fell apart). There came a time when Violet wanted anything but to sit and listen to me read. She would squirm and fuss, but I was insistent: she would be read to, and [hopefully someday] she would like it.
I, myself, have been a lover of books since I learned to read at a young age. A book was always near at hand, whether I was at a restaurant with my family waiting for the food to arrive, on the playground at recess (I didn’t always read at recess, but it did happen a time or two) or in bed at night with the handy booklight my mom gave me. My oldest friend, whom I met in 8th grade, is as great a book lover as I am and I believe that is what cemented our friendship so early on. Books are wonderful things and I always dreamed of having a child who, though she may not be as fanatical about them as I am, would appreciate and enjoy them. That’s why I have bins and bins in storage full of children’s books. That, and possibly a slight addiction to yard sales.
I remember when Violet was maybe 6 months old and my mom was here visiting. I was reading to Violet before putting her to bed and she stopped fussing for a moment, turned slightly and just looked into my eyes for several seconds. I can’t say there was a smile on her face, but if there wasn’t, it was very close. She sat quietly for the rest of the book and I marveled excitedly over it with my mom later. Ever since then, Violet has been addicted to books. She went through a phase last year where from the moment she woke up in the morning she would be bringing the nearest caregiver a book to read. Didn’t matter what it was. Didn’t matter if you’d just read it five minutes ago. By nine a.m. I’d read twenty books already and the demand didn’t seem to be slowing. We created a “book nook” in the corner of our living room, consisting of an antique washstand nestled between the couch and loveseat, where she could easily reach her books stored in the cabinet.
These days, Violet still loves to be read to, but thankfully doesn’t request it quite as much. She turns two in less than two weeks and can already recite the alphabet (only for momma) and name most letters on sight. I credit this to all the hours she spent in someone’s lap being read to (and also to LeapFrog and Word World).
We joined the Summer Reading Club at the library on Tuesday. Violet’s card is already half full; mine is going to take a bit longer to complete. Not only do I have to read 11-15 books, but I have to read all genres! I’ve been gladly taking suggestions from friends and have several good books in mind. What have you read lately? What should I read next?