From birds to bees, to bats in the belfry everything you ever wanted to know is in a book somewhere, but imagination starts with you.
When I was growing up, we had three channels on the TV and the Mickey Mouse club was my favorite. Other than that, I was outdoors or reading a book. My first experience in reading was with the Dick and Jane series. I guess there was some controversy surrounding that series, but we won’t go into the pros or cons here, and besides that was eons ago. I think though, that Spot was spot on in bringing the love of reading into my life.
My dad was in the army and every year we moved to a new fort in a different state. Books became my traveling companions as I left my friends and school behind. I’d open the book, turn the page and instantly be transported to another place where my imagination took over.
I dove into mysteries and read every single one of Nancy Drew that was in print. Every day in the library, I witness the excitement of a fourth grader, as she plops a classic Nancy Drew on my desk to check out. Her eyes gleam with the anticipation of a good story. Friends surround her declaring which one was their favorite mystery. One would recommend “The Mystery of Lilac Inn’, while another said “The Haunted Bridge” was their favorite. These books were written eighty years ago, but this didn’t matter to them. A gook book will always be a good book.
After Nancy Drew, Gothic romance swept me off my feet as the handsome stranger saved me from the disreputable evil count. Oh, but when Star Trek became popular I was off to another galaxy at light speed searching for a new planet to explore. I have to admit I even got on the Zombie bandwagon for a while.
My preference in genres is eclectic. Are you seeing a pattern here? Not a single non-fiction book has drawn me to open the cover. I live real life every day, so it never appealed to me. I wanted an escape. Well I should restate the only non-fiction book I will open and read is the Bible. Lately though, I have turned to working on this deficiency, especially in the desire to become a better writer.
I’m not saying that non-fiction doesn’t have merit. I was surprised to see that most of my kindergartners up to second grade gravitated to the non-fiction section. They’re like sponges soaking up everything especially dinosaurs, sharks, snakes and horrible insects. I shudder when a sweet faced little girl checks out a book on ticks. By fourth grade, they’re mostly into fiction.
One of the best parts of my job is helping students find the right book that will pique their interest. If I can find the right fit, they will learn to love reading. A book is like a transportation device, but your imagination is the drive. Let a good book take you to a faraway place in another time.