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— In going over the letters to Santa written by the kids in kindergarten through second grade in Pea Ridge, it was surprising to see what kids are asking for these days from jolly ole St. Nick.

After complimenting how Santa is looking these days, asking about Mrs. Claus or reassuring him they have been good girls and boys, only a select few asked for books. Most asked for popular action figures or Wii’s or Nintendo DS systems.

Both causing and as a result of my background in English and writing, I love books. I could receive books and only books as gifts for the rest of my lifeand be perfectly happy. I am weird about my books - as in I always write in them, rarely lend them out for fear of not getting them back and rarely borrow because then I can’t keep it and grow my collection.

There’s the new electronic things being sold now that can download entire books and then you read them on the screen - ugh, I just shivered at the thought of not holding the book in my hands and then searching for a place for it on the shelf when I am done.

What is the world coming to with all these crazy electronics?

I don’t have kids. What I know about parenting comes from observing and baby-sitting and lending an ear when my best friend needs to vent. I was, however, once a child myself years ago and know what it’s like to be read a bedtime story. I was always encouraged to read as a kid, especially when I claimed to be bored. Mom always told me I wasn’t using my brain if I was bored cause I couldn’t think of something to do. And now, after coming to the realization that I am probably not going tobe rich and then getting to be OK with that, I hope to make a career out of my love of reading and writing.

Props to parents who spark that interest early so that their kids ask for a book rather than a video game. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good game on the Wii, especially bowling where you can make the people look like you and because I am way better at that than actual bowling.

But it seems in life there is bound to be a time when you feel you are completely alone in the world. If you can read, however, and enjoy it, you can always open the cover of a book and there you are in the middle of the story.

Opinion, Pages 4 on 12/30/2009

Print Headline: Running Lines Love of reading sparked early

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