My love affair with books started when I was very young. I still remember sitting on my mother’s lap and listening to her read to me and my older sister, enjoying the closeness and the excitement of the stories. When I was a little bit older I loved going to the library every week. I’d pick out the maximum number of books allowed and take them home to read and re-read until the next trip. To this day I love the smell of a library – and the sense of all the wonders ready to be explored in all of the books there. Now I have my own collection of books – and they spill into every room of my house. I am convinced that the mere presence of a book is a gift and something of what they contain gets into my consciousness, even though I haven’t yet read them.
Reading books with my children, and now my grandchildren, is one of my favorite things to do. Picture books are such a delight, as they lead into all sorts of fascinating conversations. It is so much fun to see what the little ones see, to listen to their versions of the story, and to hear them laughing when something strikes them as funny. Looking at picture books is such an important part of developing a love for reading. I feel privileged to be able to share in this adventure with them. My youngest grandchild is 4 months old – and we are introducing her to board books. The older ones have their own “libraries” as well as their own library cards for more books to read. It is my deepest hope that my love of reading is part of my legacy for the future. It all starts with picture books.
Kay Lindahl is the founder of The Listening Center and the author of a children’s book as well as two books on listening for adults.