I will be reading from my book tonight at Stories bookstore and café. Actually, by the time I get this posted, that should be past tense. Book readings are old hat for me now, I usually do two or three every night, but my audience is very small, two small boys to be exact. And I don’t usually read my own book, instead I am making my way through the children’s literature at our glorious public library. And I never need to publicize these readings, my children relish the nightly ritual, always showing up on time, ever requesting a third book.
I think back to the years that my mother read me books at bedtime. I remember when we graduated from picture books to chapter books. I learned from her that books opened up worlds upon worlds for readers, and I have grown up to model her habit of always having a book on hand. I cannot seem to travel further than a few blocks without a book in my bag, just as I could not seem to sleep without a bedtime story.
In the years when my children were small, I despaired that I had no time to read, until it occurred to me that I was reading dozens of books every week, though mostly of the Hop on Pop genre. Six years in, I can report that children’s literature is fantastic stuff, infinitely varied, amusing and enlightening for adults. The converse doesn’t work as well. The one night I tried reading my book of adult literature to my children – my eldest had proudly dipped into his piggy bank three times to legitimately purchase his own copy of my book (his younger brother told him to stop wasting his money) – they were both asleep before I could finish the second page.