Never too much
There is no such thing as owning too many books. When we bought our house, I dreamed of transforming one room into a library, four walls lined with books from floor to ceiling. We would start with empty shelves and fill them up throughout the years. I dreamed of having a library much like the beast’s (in Beauty and the Beast) where you need ladders that swing from one shelf to another. Of course, that wasn’t to be. The room that was to be our library became lola’s room for when she wants to visit, and I wouldn’t want my baby to miss out on a playroom so I painted the other room apple green, orange, baby blue and sunny yellow and made it her own.
When I was growing up, I remember spending lazy afternoons in bed reading and not just because we didn’t have tv. I was in grade three when we had TV for the first time. But even then, our afternoons were never spent watching tv. We lived in a town without a National Bookstore in every corner but there was always a book to read perhaps because my parents also liked to read. We had a cabinet full of books (most of them pocket books but still they were books!) and I remember rummaging through the piles each time I wanted an interesting read. I started with fairy tales (I remember the almost 2-inch thick book of fairy tales with the nice illustrations. I want to pass it on to my baby, problem is we couldn’t find it anymore), then as I got older, Imoved on to romance (I cringe at the memory of reading Emilie Loring and Mills and Boon) and then suspense (I started with the Perry Mason series, during which time I was inspired to become a lawyer and a detective, then after finishing my dad’s collection, started with the Agatha Christie series alternating Miss Marple with Hercule Poirot. Towards the end of my “suspense phase”, I got engaged with the Robert Ludlum novels and the occasional Frederick Forsyth and John Grisham). I knew that my book selection was shallow, so sometimes I let my brother influence me into reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Umberto Eco and Paulo Coelho. Then med school came and fiction took a backseat to textbooks and reading finally tired me. Then my baby came along and now I am back to reading fairy tales! I have come full circle!
I want my daughter to be widely read. An entire shelf on her cabinet can no longer accommodate all her books. I want to buy her an entire collection of Dr. Seuss which I haven’t completed yet. It irks me no end that my hubby would sometimes tell me I buy my baby too many books. Not just a general comment. He complains about Dr. Seuss’ books in particular and about the unknown creatures drawn in its pages (um, it’s called imagination?), he says that the creatures might confuse our baby, that she should be discovering instead about real animals and real objects. It is almost reminiscent of a scene in Matilda when Danny de Vito says to his daughter “Why do you need a book when you have TV?!”
Regardless of what my hubby says, I will continue to buy my baby books. Until the four walls of her room are lined with them from floor to ceiling and she will need a ladder that swings from one shelf to another just to find a book on a lazy afternoon when craves for an interesting read.
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