This essay in today’s New York Times Style section has made me so happy! Author Teddy Wayne writes about the importance of tangible artifacts (books and records or even cd’s) on the shelves of our homes. In Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves (a sly reference to a book that should be on all parent’s bookshelves in my opinion because it allows curious adolescent kids to sneak a healthy peek! I will never forget sneaking a peek into the alluring and disturbing illustrations in the 1970’s edition of my parent’s copy of Our Bodies, Our Selves. It was eye-opening!)
“The implications are clear: Owning books in the home is one of the best things you can do for your children academically. It helps, of course, if parents are reading to their children and reading themselves, not simply buying books by the yard as décor.”
Thank you, thank you Teddy Wayne! I wholeheartedly agree. The bookshelves in our house are overflowing, much to my husband’s dismay, but I refuse to part with them. The books are reminders to me of my past because I can pick one up and remember where I was when I read it. I may never read the book again, but maybe my kids will. In fact just last week I handed my 14 year old son my high school copy of Catcher int he Rye. It was a really exciting moment for me. He says he likes it a lot. I’m trying to sustain my glee…..some of the bookshelves in our house.