Thursday, March 15, 2012

Instilling The Love For Books + Reading + Storytelling

My siblings and I were raised to love books and reading. We grew up surrounded by 3 sets of encyclopedias and National Geographic coffee table books and history books. We had this encyclopedia-dictionary (tabby, was it collier's? i couldn't remember now) that the 3 of us older kids then would fight over because we all wanted to read it at the same time. We started reading Constantino when we were in grade school. Back then it was something really fun to learn history and all the trivia I learned from reading that book just came in handy when I was already in College.

Reading, on the other hand, was not something that was forced unto us.  At some point I guess, it did gave us the impression that we could be cool if we know stuff so that would probably had us started. Eventually, during idyllic summer days you’d see us curled in our own little corner of the house, faces buried in a book. We never usually go out of the house unless we were ask to buy something from the nearby talipapa or the nearest sari-sari store. My siblings and I were homebodies and never grew a fondness to being out of the house (happy si daddy and mommy!) so books were our primary source of adventure.

My dad had this grand dream of building his own library. He marked our books with "Pachoco Family Library" and I guess, that dream somehow rubbed off on us because we eventually shared his dream. Among the 5 of us though, I'd say I have the most boring reading list. They consist mostly of chiclit stuff, a lot of Stephen Kings and Robin Cooks, and of late obviously parenting books. I'd always be amazed with all the books that one of my sisters read. She maintains a very interesting (sorry tabby couldn't find the right word to describe it) book collection. I onced picked up one of her books but never got to finish it. They were the 1000-paged kind which about just a quarter through I'd end up falling asleep because the literature would jumble up my brain and my imagination just wouldn't function anymore. Besides the limited vocabulary that I have, I guess I'm still a baby when it comes to literary appreciation really. One day, I'd still want to get my hands and eyes on them though and be able to say that I finished a Dostoyevsky, a Pychon or a Joyce.

When I finally got around to envisioning myself as a mother, one of the things I really wished my kids would become passionate about is reading and storytelling. My sister who had already a son a year ahead of me told me to just make sure we always read to the little one when she was still a baby. So we read to her one specific story book each time till we learned the story by heart we would tell it even without reading through the book. Up until now, we didn't realized that the story was imprinted on Maia. When she finally learned to talk, she once asked for her Puppy Dog book -- "Mommy, nasan na si Puppy Dog ko? Yung puppy dog is dirty! (and Tibs wound interject - Dan and Emma wants to wash him?) Yes, yung book na yun!".  We were once again blown away. We didn't expect her to remember THAT book. But she did.

happy to find a souvenir photo with the puppy dog book
We already lost that book a long time ago. It was worn out from all the chewing and throwing that endure from Maia’s infancy. The little girl also practiced her tearing skills on that book and we eventually decided to retire and throw it away. Maia's literary CV has now expanded to include Adarna published books, some Dr. Seuss’s and Eric Carle's. There are other books she'd take to bed and kiss goodnight on some days (titles of which I just can't seem to recall right now). I'm starting to see my wish coming true. I'm in no way pressuring her to make it happen, but I'm hoping that with how she's treating books these days, it eventually will.

She also developed a unusual skill of reading books upside down. Lolz.

Daddy, malaking very hungry caterpillar o!

typical bookstore scene each time we make a stopover

1 comment:

TABBY said...

It's only the humongous Webster dictionary i can remember (bought in 1978) that we actually fought over because it has a page displaying all the flags in the world. the encyclopedia came when I was in high school, i think. Mills and Boon I can remember reading from the rattan bookshelf. then Reader's Digest, which when daddy found me reading said that i should stop patronizing it because it's not good for my thinking brains.

The best comment was "read that again and i'll burn it," from mommy who apparently was menopausing, and blamed my mood disorder and general laziness for room cleaning on catcher in the rye.

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