"I would be most content if my children grew up
to be the kind of people who think
deecorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."
From the time our children are infants, we are conscious of all they are in contact with. Soft blankets enfold them. Beautiful music soothes them. We show our concern for their safety by covering outlets and padding table corners. We enjoy sweet times of snuggling on the sofa introducing them to new friends through books. Many of these friends they will revisit over and over and never forget.
As they grow, often other "more important" activities take the place of reading. Other possessions edge out books for display. There are those who actually refer to shelves of books as...GASP!...clutter!!!
Libraries are wonderful inventions. I must believe that or I wouldn't own one. But the reason I have a library of my own is that I value having books in the home. There are few things quite as satisfying as wanting to visit a friend and finding him or her or it at arm's reach. There is nothing quite so calming in turbulent times than finding comfort in the pages of my own personal volume, pages worn with use. There is nothing like enjoying times of hilarity with the family again and again. And when my children want to know something, the answer is usually just a book away.
I love to encourage my library patrons to buy books for their children. They are often at a loss as to what books to get, especially when they can just check them out from me. "Buy what they love", I answer. Usually if they find themselves checking out the same title again and again, that's a pretty good indicator that this book should be added to the collection. It is very special to a child to have his own personal book shelf...or better yet, bookcase. Rainy afternoons are just right for pouring over picture books, fairy tales, adventures. Night time rituals are the perfect way to include books as children run their fingers over favorites to feed their dreams. Older children are challenged and equipped to be men and women of character. And they take these treasures with them to some day challenge and equip their own children.
It is a legacy we leave them. Of all the possessions that clamor for our space, books are the most lasting and endearing, a treasured atmosphere that will carry them throughout life.