The Age for Loving Books
We hosted my son’s 9th birthday party yesterday. We had 15 nine-year-olds running around the yard spraying super soakers and hucking water balloons at each other. They had fun, and it was fun just to watch.
My son got many great gifts. One of which was a Guinness World Book of Records for Gamers. All kinds of records and interesting facts all based around video games.
I saw this and thought, “What a cool gift! It’s right up my son’s alley since he loves video games, it’s probably packed with interesting stuff, and the cover’s even pretty decent.”
My son, on the other hand, was probably thinking, “A book? I really need to re-evaluate who I invite to these things.”
He’s not a book kid. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
Okay. It tears me up a bit, but he’s going to be who he is. I often encourage reading, but I don’t force it on him. Duct taping a book to his face so it’s the only thing he can see might have the opposite effect to what I’m going for.
And he’s still young, which got me thinking. What age was I when I really embraced reading? I want to say 10 or 11 and it started with comic books. I couldn’t get enough of them.
Books came a little later. Almost exclusively The Hardy Boys. Frank and Joe were the bomb. Thinking back, they probably weren’t great books. Both Frank and Joe seemed to be near-perfect. They never made a mistake and had the answer to every question. But these books have been around for generations, so obviously there’s something there.
A few years later, I got into a series called Endworld. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, a herculean chap named Blade (yeah, I know) and his friends would run around finding groups of villains and mutants and have giant shoot outs that always seemed to end in hand-to-hand combat. Again, my hindsight tells me they probably pretty bad, but at the time I loved them.