Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Gift of Reading, Key to a Good Life
By Rick Blumenberg /
I grew up in a reading home. Mom and Dad would read the paper together, trading sections as each finished. Living in a home before the days of television (and even pre-electric for the first few years) I realize we didn’t have some of the distractions of our present day but some evenings every person in the family would have a book in hand, or, be listening to one. And that fostered a love of reading. When Mom was an older teenager, she wrote a column for the local newspaper about neighborhood happenings. She was paid with a subscription and years later, when I was growing up, we still got a free paper that she had earned for us.
One of my fondest early memories was when Dad took us to the library in Charleston, Missouri, and we went home with an armload of books! And I discovered that when we had read them we could take them back and get more! It was an awesome experience for a boy who couldn’t remember a life without reading and had just discovered to read for himself. All of our family members are readers and book lovers, and many of us are writers. Some time ago I wrote two of my favorite poems on the subject of reading. I share them with you here. I dedicate them to my family—past, present and future—and to their love of reading.
I received it from my parents
a lifetime ago.
The family read together—
it was part of being home.
One reading, others listening,
or each with book in sheltered cove
In summer ’neath the shade tree
in winter by the stove.
We gave it to our children—
this gift of love received,
before they could know or understand
the words that we would read.
Dr. Zeus and Eggemier, The train that Tried
and the Little Red Hen—
We watched their bright eyes sparkle
as reading would begin.
And now our children's children
are readers once again.
I don't know when it started.
I hope it never ends.
Read my child
and no one can enslave you.
A book shall be your golden key
to a strong unopened door.
With a book and time to read it
the whole earth you can roam
And where others cannot travel
you will be at home.
Read my child
and travel far upon the deep.
Walk abroad on distant shores
while others are asleep!
A book shall be your ocean barque
to sail the distant seas
And reading be your shining wing
To ride upon the breeze.
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s My View from Tanner Creek.