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Reading Brings Generations Together

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of the generations and nations.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Me & Nicole ready for Easter mass, holding our new books c.1979

As Kyle continues on his journey through Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix), he seems to also be interested in what I’m reading.  It’s no secret that my sister and I have read The Hunger Games, a couple of times, and we did anticipate the movie launch with much excitement.  Kyle was certainly interested in the books and asked me about them on a number of occasions.  Nicole and I have discussed letting him read the books.  I told him when he finishes his Harry Potter books, he can certainly start The Hunger Games.  Once, when we were talking about the movie coming out, Kyle said to me, “You know I’ll wait to see the movie first to see if I want to read those books.”  Yikes!  No that’s not the way it’s suppose to be.  I told him, “Kyle the books are ALWAYS better than the movies.  You miss so much if you just see the movie.  You get to use your imagination and escape when you are reading. I promise you, you will love these books, they are easy to read and will keep your attention.  Plus the fun part about getting so involved in a book is the excitement you share with other fans when movies are released based on books.”  First let’s step back to analyze this.  Nicole and I weren’t sure if Kyle was old enough to read the books, and just because of his reaction, my logic was turned completely around to the point where I was now pushing the books on him.  Ummm, he is a smart little man!

Regardless, it’s neat to see Kyle’s interest in what Nicole and I are interested in.  It’s no secret Kyle hears us talking about a new book coming out, a book being turned into a movie, or simply the stories themselves.  Nicole and I both still purchase the old fashioned words printed on paper.  Neither one of us are really interested in reading electronic books, at least not just yet. We still enjoy swapping books back and forth, which I think gets Kyle intrigued and influences him by our actions.

Me on Easter morning, probably really early in the morning c.1979

Sometimes when Kyle is working on his homework, I’ll sneak in a few pages of whatever book I’m on, while waiting for him to finish up, to check his work.  A little while ago, I was reading The Millennium Series, better known as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.  Kyle came over to me and asked, “What are you reading?”  He inspected the cover of the book, which is the original, plain with a canvas type of cover, not the movie cover.  He flipped it over and there was a very yellow inside page with a map of Sweden on the inside.  He instantly said, “Wow, look at that! What’s the book about?” I tried to generally explain it’s a mystery thriller and one of the main characters is a hacker who is a genius and the other main character is an investigative journalist.  He was really intrigued by the plain book.  He gave me a look of ‘Do you think I would like it?’, until I read his thought and instantly jumped ahead of the question by saying, “This is an adult book.  It’s really very good, but a little too violent for you.”  That satisfied him and he omitted the thought from his mind.  At least for now.

You know, two weeks ago Kyle pulled out his Harry Potter book and was sitting there reading in the living-room.  The TV was blaring but it didn’t seem to bother Kyle, he was pretty engrossed in the words on the page.  Just then dad turned to Kyle and said, “Whatcha reading buddy?”  Kyle responded with a very brief, “Harry Potter.”  It seemed as though now at that moment, dad wanted to have a conversation with Kyle, which I knew was not going to happen.  He was too involved in the story, but that didn’t stop dad.  Sometimes my dad is so thick, he never pays attention, yet sometimes he is so intuitive that it’s almost shocking.  Anyway, this is one of those times when dad was just being thick and didn’t notice Kyle didn’t want to be disturbed.  Dad proceeded to ask, “Is it good?  Do you like those books?”  Kyle not even looking up from his book gave him a very short, “Ya”.

Ryan Easter morning. He always had a sweet tooth! c.1979

Guessing those short comments didn’t satisfy dad, because he decided to talk about his old reading habits.  I knew my dad was a reader, but I had forgotten.  Ever since dad’s eyes needed the assistance of reading classes, he really doesn’t read much.  Regardless, dad went on to say, “Yep Kyle you don’t know it, but your old pappy used to read all the time.  There wasn’t a book in the library that didn’t have my name on it.”  Just then I saw Kyle break away from the imaginative world he was visiting, to listen.  Dad went on, “Yes and even Gigi was a reader.  We both liked to read.  I’m glad to see you like reading too.”  Kyle nodded and was now giving dad his attention, but with a ‘Really?’ look.

My parents love of reading seems like a thing of a faint memory, but I absolutely remember it.  My mom would read poems and short stories to us.  For some reason the only author that comes to mind was Edgar Allan Poe, specifically the poem Bells!  She would read it with such great rhythm and timing, you couldn’t help but get excited and get wrapped up in the ringing of the bells.  Another book that sticks out was North and South, and I remember her talking about some book on drug wars and discussing it with her friends.  That’s funny, but looking back on it now, I see things from Kyle’s perspective.  You know, growing up around such an interest in books does stays with you.  Believe it or not, I remember thinking, I would like to read that book on drug wars.  It seemed so interesting, that was before I knew about drugs or even where Columbia was located, but I knew I wanted to read what mom was talking about.  Now dad’s reading choice consisted of mainly history books, specifically wars.  I was never a big war buff, but I always liked hearing about history, still do.  I guess I was pretty lucky to have parents who indirectly influenced us.  I mean it was a given that every Easter we would have new books in our Easter baskets.  A tradition I have adopted for Kyle.

Kyle mentioned that some of his friends had already read through all the Harry Potter books.  I know he can’t wait till I read them.  Finishing the first one with Kyle when he went through his I HATE READING! phase and the follow up, Harry Potter Made Me Do It!  He told me that his friends are always asking him what part of the book he’s on.  I’m sure they discuss the books, just like I do with my friends.

It’s amusing, but it’s true, books create a different type of interest and communication that literally spans generations.  Well, sometimes Reading Brings Generations Together…Or Not?.  Whether its fiction or some other type of genre, there is always a reason to discuss or give an opinion, and there is always so much to learn.

Published inBooks, Movies, ShowsEducation & LearningFamilyObservation & ImaginationReminiscing

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