I was at the local bookstore this afternoon - you know, one of those where the aisles are crowded with overflowing bookshelves, the floor creaks and dips in the middle, and the resident cat weighs 25 lbs. because he's been there forever. I noticed that some of the books were new, some of them were
very old, and some of the dust jackets had served their country well because there was enough residue on them to prove they arrived the same day as the cat.
I had a gift certificate, which is clearly the best form of cash. I made my way through the store, wandering through novels, classics, paperbacks and the like. But before long, the magnetic pull to the children's section drew me in like it does every time.
I started to quietly flip through the picture books. As I did, two women walked by on the other side of where I was standing and immediately began to "ooh" and "aah". One woman picked up a book and without hesitation began to read it aloud to the other as if she were reading it to her own child. I paused and listened and realized that there is something that makes us do that- we see the beautiful illustrations and the touching story with its bit of wit and humor and it hits us like a greeting card on steroids. We are compelled to read it cover to cover to whomever is standing by, or to ourselves if no one else is around.
I could hear the smiles in their voices as she laid the book back down and reminisced with her friend about how she had read that one to her children years before. It brought back only good memories of a time gone by. As they started to explore other books on the shelves, the picture book lover in me wanted to leap over to them and start vocalizing recommendations and personal preferences but then I thought, "Who DOES that? They'll think I'm crazy......." and I remained silent.
Silent, but happy.
It just confirmed to me that I'm not crazy for loving picture books.
I'd be crazy not to.
I feel just that way about picture books, too. And just so you know, I don't think they'd have thought you were one bit crazy for talking about your own loves of particular books. I think people who browse those sections have a certain connection to childhood that a lot of adults "grow out of" and it's a shame. Maybe it's the connection to that sense of magic and wonder... Really nice post.ReplyDelete
Jeannette - good point! Adults in the children's section probably feel just as I do- and would love to hear a recommendation or two. Since I work in an elementary school library I'm always ready with information, whether they ask for it or not.... ;)Delete
Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it!
I love this post, Beth!! I'd be right there with you - the children's picture books are my faves. Poetry, short stories, biographies, math, science and other subjects...and matching it with the art of pictures, drawings or paintings, it is endless beauty. Most of the books we check out from the library are children's picture books, they are the perfect springboard to learning for pleasure.ReplyDelete