When I was at my parents house for Thanksgiving this week, everyone spent a lot of time reading. Kids read with their feet propped up in comfy armchairs, grandparents pulled out the reading glasses, Todd snuggled up with his i Pad, and I wandered around looking at the bookshelves.
My parents are official book-aholics. They read prolifically, give books as gifts, and collect them on shelves, in stacks, in baskets and in the back seat of the car.
I certainly and thoroughly inherited this love. When I was a kid and needed consequences and discipline, the only leverage my parents had was in my books. If necessary, I would not be permitted to read in order to refine my focus on other areas, such as math problems, exercise, dishes, and getting dressed on the weekends.
I had some good tricks up my sleeve for sneaking my habit unnoticed… (Cracking the door just so, to let in the tiniest shaft of light; the ability to feign sleep at a moment’s notice and to deftly slip a book into my pillowcase and under my cheek.)
Looking back, though, I wonder if my parents didn’t know all along of my sneaky ways, and yet allowed it to go on… They empathized with my situation.
I am so thankful for the book passion that my parents nurtured in me. Their shelves are full of books about faith, far away lands, how to build a deck, who murdered who, ideas, truth and humor.
My kids didn’t inherit orderliness from me, nor did I from my parents. I’m so glad, though, that our stacks and piles and overflowing closets are mostly filled with books.