All You Need is a Book!

Thank you Heather Bell {from @writeitout6} for guest blogging with us here at theJOYsisters this week! We are loving all of the different voices and perspectives on reading that each of us have to offer. We look forward to working with Heather again in the future and encourage you to check her out over on Instagram and to visit her blog!

The first experience I can remember regarding reading was when I was five years old.  I was "reading" Goodnight Moon and my sister nicely forced me to memorize the book.  If I missed a word, she made me start over. Quite the slave driver at age seven!  But I remember loving it and feeling the magic of being able to "read" a book. I still have that book memorized and have read it many times to my kids. I think we've gone through two copies.

The first experience I can remember with a book that profoundly affected me was in fourth grade. I read Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry.  I couldn't put it down.  I was caught up in the world of AnneMarie and Ellen and World War 2.  I was amazed by the lengths regular people would go to just to save people they didn't even know.  It started a lifelong "healthy" obsession with World War 2 historical fiction.

Reading with my kids, though, is another experience.  I have spent countless hours reading with them, listening to books on cd and audiobooks with them.  I have spent hours listening to them read. We began with simple books: Goodnight Moon, of course, Frog and Toad, Elephant and Piggie, and Bink and Golly.  We have explored books about fancy girls, trains and trucks and airplanes.  We've loved books with puppets, mazes and Ispy.  I have read in different voices for The BFG, There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom, and Holes.  

I would say that the time we have spent reading has been some of the best memories of my mothering life.  We have read to calm down, to get excited and as rewards.  We have read outside on blankets, in the car, and in the bathroom while potty training.  Our kids have been known to read instead of completing chores or brushing their teeth. I've always laughed because I never thought I would yell at my kids to quit reading and get their stuff done.  

But seeing my kids learn to love reading, to get lost in a story, to share information they have gained, has been one of the most amazing things in my life.  Such power comes from being able to share stories and information with others and acquiring it for yourself.  Getting lost in a book, even in an imaginary world, is so soothing and so magical.  As Dr. Suess said, "You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax, all you need is a book."  


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