Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Every book needs a reader....

Books on a shelf are lifeless. It is the reader who breathes life into a book and brings the story to life. A reader lives as thousand lives before he dies and the man who never reads lives only one. But maybe even more important, when I think back to the books I read as a child and the books I read today as an adult, I clearly see how they have been my guides. They taught me how to live —what does it mean to be a good human being; what does it mean to live a life of integrity? 

I do believe there is no better way to spend time with a child than sharing a book. While recently working with a family we found ourselves inside a conversation about how we care for others. We fell into a lovely poem by Tulip Chowdhury, about how everyone needs a shoulder—

I need, very badly need
a shoulder to lean on
a shoulder to cry on
a wet shoulder to make more wet
and a shoulder that is a permanent place
no matter how wet I make it
will still hold my place,
will not offer the hanky
will just “hold me”
while I lean on.

Sometimes I think sharing a book with a child is akin to offering them a shoulder—to cry, to laugh, to feel safe, to be loved, to be nurtured. Does anyone outgrow the need for a shoulder?
I would hope not.

Our conversation that followed brought the words of P. L Travers (the creator of Mary Poppins) into focus— A writer is, after all, only half his book. The other half is the reader and from the reader the writer learns. Happy Birthday P.L. Travers—she would be 118 years old today, and her stories are still alive and well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment