Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Love of Books and Reading.......

The Beautiful Library at Osterley House near London

There are many treasures within the pages of books.  I remember vividly the day I fell in love with reading books! In my ninth year of school, we were often required to have a study hall period within our day and this was most often located in the library. On this particular day, I was looking straight ahead (probably daydreaming) and a beautiful book caught my eye. The book was REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier and I have never been the same! I was hooked on reading novels.  For me, they were often set in places I could escape to or dream of one day visiting.  At the same time, I began to develop a keen interest in history, mainly the United States history and over my university years, I developed a love for world history and books on art history. The years that I spent teaching middle school found my books to be my best friends!

It was many years, before we inevitably came to the conclusion that a room in our house had evolved into a library for our books.  This room was a period room with furnishings inspired by pieces found in Mount Vernon, President George Washington's home.  We had bookshelves built on both sides of a window centered in the front of the room and I began to fill them with books!  I searched antique shops for books on the Presidents of The United States of America. Our collection has grown now to include many books on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and many, many more of our Presidents.  I have books on the First Ladies, the homes of the Presidents and other places that are important in our country's history.  Now our library includes books on decorating, travel, and books for Bible study and inspiration.  Our library is probably the most favorite room in our home when our adult children visit.  Our sweet grandchildren also seem to gravitate to the library.  All is serene in this room and it's a place I enjoy for my prayer time and devotionals in the mornings.

Our children grew up with a wonderful exposure to books.  We loved to read books to them and had boxes and boxes of children's books that have found their way into the homes of the two daughters' who have children.  They love books as we do!  

This past week, I began reading an autobiography on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was one of eight children born within a decade to Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer. This book had been a gift to my husband from one of our daughters.  The Bonhoeffer family lived in Breslau, Germany when their children were young and the parents were known to take much joy in their children.  Their children were educated at home the first few years of their educational training because Paula, the mother, was distrustful of the public educational system which used the Prussian educational methods. She had higher goals for her children which included books, music, and exposure to art in everyday life. The fun of dressing up and presenting plays to each other and visiting adults was also a big part of their schooling at home.  The early years of his life, building this confidence,  prepared him for the mighty call and desire to study theology and ultimately become one of the 20th Century's most humble men of faith.  We could say he was a man of extraordinary faith and fought to deliver a nation from the curse of Nazism. Home life prepares our children for their call in life.

Books in a home, available for a child to read builds confidence.  Reading begins at birth as a child begins to observe images and associates words with what the eye sees.  Children learn to read at different paces but a child who is encouraged each and every day to read will develop a life long love of books!  A library in your home can be a room with shelves and shelves of books or it can be a little corner you provide for reading quietly.  It really doesn't matter the size as long as you encourage and develop a love for books and reading!