Standing tall on my tech geek platform has led too many to believe I do not have any affection for literature in its printed form. This notion is based on assumptions. My deep unwavering attraction for gadgets, device, electronics and technology of the like doesn’t minimize my appreciation for the printed page. I am of firm beliefs that if it takes a device to appease the matter of convenience or getting reading material in the hands and eyes of the youth, then let’s give them a kindle, iPad, nook or the like. But when it comes to literature, a novel, that piece of writing you love or inspires you, that story that you turn to over and over again; when it’s writing of this nature then by all means add it to your physical wood or particle board bookshelf that is part of your home décor.
My home may be riddled with electronics in all shapes, sizes, colors and functions but many of these devices sleep nightly amongst a bookshelf. Our home used to be residence to a television in every room. We have since relinquished the idiot box for book shelves. Every bedroom has a bookshelf that maintains the coveted collection of its owner. Granted my boys do tons of reading on an electronic device, there is always that one book they need to physically touch, have in their hand and add to their collection and I support their positive habits.
I love the written word. Words in their written form are my voice. I sound much more educated and eloquent in print. My very first memory of a book, not just any book, but a book that currently resides on my bookshelf is Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. My kindergarten teacher, Helen Kaps, made this book come to life for me, literally.
Mrs. Kaps transformed Are You My Mother into a skit. She assigned roles to the class and I got to be the Snort. I was the tallest in the class and the Snort had to be able to see EVERYTHING! I learned all the words to the story. I learned to read! It was the first book I could read on my own, well, it’s the first one I remember reading on my own. I wanted to be the best Snort ever. I needed to know my lines. I was going to be the best Snort Mrs. Kaps had ever taught! And if my memory serves me correctly that’s exactly what she said. “Wow Sandra! I have never had a Snort quite like you!”
The ironic thing about Mrs. Kaps, the Snort and Are You My Mother is that it is what initially jumpstarted my first son into reading. That’s right! Thank goodness for having my children young. My eldest son was lucky enough to have the same kindergarten teacher as I did. Now, I don’t know if it was by coincidence or if Mrs. Kaps was trying to make a point but one day that lovely nonreader of mine came home with BIG news!
“Mom, guess what? We are doing a play at school and I got the BIGGEST part!”
In my half non-listening overwhelmed young mom tone I say, “uh huh” and go on about my day. We never really discussed what part he got or the fact that I too acted in the same play. We just read the book over and over, twice nightly. He wanted to be prepared. He needed to know everyone’s lines, not just his because he could ultimately help anyone that might struggle.
There I sat in the middle of the kindergarten class when all the students walked in adorned in the costumes that made of construction paper and tempra paint. In walks the Snort. I know you saw this coming but yes, my son, the once nonreader, was the Snort. Just like his mom. Talk about ironic. Needless to say, he too owns a copy of Are You My Mother.
I don’t believe the world should be devoid of printed books. I think there is a place in this world and in the hearts of most for the printed word. With that being said, I don’t believe in all or nothing. I subscribe to anything in moderation type of mentality. I don’t foresee a world solely reading digitally. I assume there will always be tangible hardcover or softcover editions of texts being coveted in someone’s collection.