Monday, June 1, 2009

The Omnivorous Reader Dilema

Reading is a passion of mine. It was never forced on me. Books were readily available in my home. So I picked what I wanted most times intrigued by the covers and bindings. We had very old books at home: there were novels (whole Agatha Christie series in English and Spanish), Atlases, Philosophy Dictionaries and History Books. Nothing was out of bounds. And when I was done with the books at home, I started with the library at school... and never stopped.

I always think that there should be a method to the madness of my book selection but the fact is that I keep wandering the aisles of bookstores and libraries in search for a book to "speak" to me and when they do, I pick it up and take it home. Sometimes I'm spot on... many other times I read a couple of pages and reluctantly admit to myself that it was a lousy pick. I do not give in easily. I give it a couple of tries, at different times of day until I let it go with a feeling of guilt at not accomplishing a task.


Instilling the love of reading into my daughter is conflicting. I was never told to read and became an avid reader. I would love for her to stumble upon the magical space that books provide and to experience the pleasure of falling into a story. She'll definitely see her parents reading, she'll see that there are books at home and probably ask us to read to her in both languages soon. But until then, I'll share with her some of the books that I love and bought for her even before she was conceived.

...

La lectura es una pasión en mi vida y algo que nunca me forzaron a hacer. Había libros en casa al alcance de la mano. Así es que elegía libros muchas veces intrigada por la portada y la encuadernación. Teníamos libros antiquísimos en casa: había novelas (toda la serie de Agatha Christie en inglés y español), Atlas, Diccionarios de Filosofía y libros de Historia. Nada estaba prohibido. Cuando terminé de leer los libros que me interesaban en casa seguí con los de la biblioteca de la escuela y nunca paré.

Siempre pensé que debería tener un método para la locura en la selección de mis libros pero la verdad es que sigo caminando por los corredores de las bibliotecas y librerías en busca de un libro "que me llame" y cuando lo hace, me lo llevo a casa. Hay veces en las que acierto y muchas otras en las que leo un par de páginas y debo admitir que fue una mala elección. No me doy por vencida fácilmente. Pruebo un par de veces en diferentes momentos del día hasta que lo dejo con culpa por no completar lo que me había propuesto.

Para mí, propiciar que mi hija ame la lectura es conflictivo. A mi nunca me dijeron que debía leer y soy una lectora voraz. Me encantaría que ella se encuentre con el mágico espacio que proveen los libros y el placer de sentirse caer de cabeza en de un cuento. Seguramente ella nos verá leer, verá que hay libros en casa y quizá nos pida que le leamos en ambos idiomas pronto. Hasta entonces, compartiré con ella algunos de los libros que amo y que le compré incluso antes de que fuera concebida.

4 comments:

Whitemist said...

I was a voracious reader growing up and for me there was some escape involved. I have lost that with the problems with my eyes, but do not miss it that much.
Still I have an awesome collection of books I have read!

Stefania said...

Hope you get to enjoy audio books. I love them! I listen when I go walking or driving.

kateoatis said...

And what will you do when there are just eBooks? Will that mean no libraries? Lucky Zoe that her parents love to read.

Stefania said...

Well, I guess we'll have lots of downloads/ ebooks in the computers and reading gadgets at home. Maybe we'll have virtual libraries and by then there will be computers that allow you to smell through them so that we can dream about old books. But I will certainly miss the look and feel of books.