Those that know me can tell you that I’m a voracious reader, one of those people that can be found reading the back of the cereal box while eating breakfast, if nothing more interesting is at hand. I blame this on my mother, but in a good way.
From an early age my mom read to me, and encouraged me to pick up the habit as soon as I was able, which eventually led to me reading and writing at an extremely young age. I can remember well a trip to the library with the baby-sitter and struggling through a copy of my first borrowed novel, a copy of Peter Benchley’s “Jaws” (the book and movie still terrify me today). I believe I was approximately four years old. By the time kindergarten and first grade rolled around I was engrossed in the genius of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, and the rest, I guess you could say, is history.
I doubt that I’m alone in thinking that the lack of reading and writing skills in America is going to come back to haunt us, and in all reality already has. Even at the college level I’ve noted the disturbing trend of “texters” and “chatters” abbreviating, jiving, and in general butchering the English language. I wonder if these people realize just how unprofessional and ignorant this appears, and I hope they never trade e-mails with their boss, unless of course said boss follows the same trend. Personally, I find it to be neither convenient nor proper, I just think it’s laziness.
This will probably sound a trifle old-fashioned, but strong reading and writing skills are something to be proud of, and to all of you parents out there with young children, you need to stress the importance of this. In a time where schools are preparing to face massive cuts to education, the time you put in with your children at home will serve them greatly in the future and is invaluable. Strong readers equal an educated youth, which in turn will lead to a college education and gainful employment.
Another memory just occurred to me, and that’s the fact that my mom never said no when I asked to buy a book or comic, or beg for money to pay my library dues. Thanks mom, if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this.