Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Books Child's Best Friend

One thing that I was crazy about right from my childhood was reading books - specially fiction. Initially it started with small storybooks which my grandmothers sister used to give as gifts on birthdays. Later our very good old Amar chitra katha books and in teens it was Nancy Drew, Hardy boys, the forever exciting Enid Blyton books like Famous five, Mallory towers and the list was never ending. Oh! the sheer delight of reading these fantastic books.

I remember how I used to try and finish my studies fast ,complete all my home work and then I would start reading my favourite books. My mother and my sisters used to grumble as to why I had to read as though my life depended on completing it. But there I was just reading .... and most of the times refusing to go on a family outing, which really used to irritate them no end.

So it was no big surprise that I started planning and started my own library of books for my babies even before they were born. Both me and my husband who luckily also shares my passion in reading books would visit book exhibitions. Thus we started building up a good collection. It was my dream to pass on this passion of reading books to my children also, as I felt books are the best friends that a person could have.

I initially started with nice colourful picture books by pointing out pictures and talking about it.This was the beginning. Once he started talking, then we both would sit with books and I would point out and talk to him about the various animals, birds, vehicles and all the other pictures with which he could relate to and which he would see around him. We also bought a series of the excellent books by Time Life Series which I recommend all parents to buy. These books are amazing. Even to this day both my children have the habit of going through these books now and then.

So my first baby started slowly developing this love for books. When my second child was born we again went through the same process of introducing him to books This time I also had my first son participating in story telling along with me. Till recently I had to read a book for them and tell the story at dinner time and they really used to enjoy it. Now I find that both my sons enjoy reading and I really feel it is worth all the time spent in trying to make books their companion.

This might be the era of PSP or Xbox or WiFi but books can never ever be replaced. These give the child the power of imagination, flight to fantasy land , improves their vocabulary , and opens up a vast ocean of knowledge. When the child is not in a good mood then books will uplift his spirit. Who can forget the spirited Tom Sawyer and his adventures? How can one forget the famous lines "Elementary my dear Watson" from Sherlock Holmes? The thrilling adventures and sights that we all saw on the Coral Island, or the most beautiful and touching story where one travels along with the lives of "Little Women". The list is never ending.

So I feel the best gift that any parent could give to their children would be making them passionate about reading books and letting books be their best friends . Starting at a very early age is a must. It can also be a good bonding time when parents take their children to book stores and let them just sit and read or go through different books. I enjoy the time when we take the kids to Crossword and see them running to their favourite book section and picking up a book and sitting very seriously reading it. I see a lot of children there reading and it makes me glad that books are still part of childhood.

Infact the best holiday for me would be staying near a river side cottage with my husband and children, some good food, a hammock and lots and lots of books to read. Ideal wouldn't you say?

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