But I think the thing I love most about books is the potential and the promise that each one holds. To me, the most exciting part of reading a book is finishing it. That way, I get to chose which of the large drawer full I will read next. To choose which unknown destination I will be transported to with the next story.
The mere thought of Firemen, designated to find and burn books, were it real would fill me with despair.
Happily, I see much of this same excitement and anticipation for books spring forth in Lukas each evening as I arrive home from work. This 2 1/2 year old boy is crazy about the little sheets of wood. He can't get enough of them. It seems that he would much rather give me a huge smile and a tight embrace, then run to the bookshelf to scan through his ever expanding library for the perfect selection. Tonight, as is the case most nights recently, one book led to another...and another...and another.
It is also rewarding to think that the stories we have recently shared have been just that, stories. Lukas has effectively moved beyond picture books, opting rather for books heavy on words and content, such as Frog and Toad, and the longer Dr. Seuss books. I even had to read him 'Worax' (The Lorax) twice in a row Sunday, then Horton Hears a Who twice as well, and finally Yertle the Turtle, all this in one sitting.
I am fairly certain that this fascination with books that our son has, has much to do with the absence of television in our home. His mind is certainly a sponge right now, and the vacuum that might normally be filled by stories on a screen are instead being filled between the pages.
I think this is a good thing. At least I hope it is. I didn't read many books myself, for pleasure, until my late 20's and I often feel like I missed out on quite a bit more than just the stories because of this. I often feel I would have had a much better grasp on my young adulthood had I been more well read at the time.
Given all that, I am happy that Lukas loves his books. The thought of him learning to read at a young age is one that would fill me not only with pride, but with hope. Hope that he can translate such a skill into better interpreting the diverse and confusing world around him. And to think, it's all right there in the pages of Dr. Seuss.
But, then again, maybe I am just another proud father reading too much into it.