Tomorrow, my son’s school celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday with Read Across America, and I’m going to spend the first part of my morning sitting with him and other parents in the library reading a book. At seven, he’s a voracious reader and an even more voracious storyteller. He figures since Mom writes books, he’ll write books, too, only his books are way better because they have pictures.
I love his imagination and would never make fun of his ideas. I remember a time as a child when my imagination ran wild with stories of my own making, inspired by stories like Jungle Book, Robinson Crusoe, Black Beauty, and Heidi. When I was introduced to Japanese anime, my stories came with pictures, of people with wide eyes and button noses, and robots that transformed from cars and trucks.
My favorite place growing up was always the library. I could lose myself within the pages of any book, escape the stresses of school and home life by holing myself in the library or my room and read. Hell, to me, was (and still is) a world without books.
And if you’ve seen that Twilight Zone episode of the man who wanted to be left alone so he could read his books – only to find himself without his glasses to read any after the world ended – well, that’s hell, too. So when I see Instagram pictures of beautiful rooms and views, my first thought is always, “where are the books?” And, oh, I can never trust a home without a bookcase and it doesn’t matter if you’ve transferred everything to your e-reader because I’ll always ask, Where are your favorite books?