As soon as the season’s over, I’ve already forgotten who was on The Bachelor – even if I never missed an episode.
The umpteenth time a top single is played, I listen along, and maybe even sing a line or two. But my mind is often elsewhere.
Not the case when I’ve got my nose in a book.
The Ephron sisters’ Kathleen Kelly of You’ve Got Mail got it so right:
“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”
I can’t remember what I cooked for dinner last Thursday, but I remember second grade days discussing E.B. White and the characters of Charlotte’s Web.
While we swapped Garbage Pail Kids in the halls before class (we were still little twerps, even if well read ones), we couldn’t wait for library day to roll around.
Oh the thrill of flying to the shelf to see if the next chapter book in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series was there.
Through the intermediate years, I tore through everything Beverly Cleary ever wrote, moving right into the world of Ann M. Martin and The Babysitter’s Club.
Turning on the lights after bed to read of the latest misadventures of the Sweet Valley Twins was like a rite of middle school passage.
And a high school English teacher proved to me that you never really outgrow the magical whimsy of Shel Silverstein.
If these stories have become a part of my identity in any way, it’s in their staying power.
Unlike my instant gratification escapist TV or some meaningless pop ditty, I remember them – certain passages even – all these years later.
What a treat to experience these stories once again, igniting in my own children the curiosity and imagination they once sparked within me.