Friday, February 26, 2010

Scary is as scary does? Part Two of Sleeping With The Lights On

By Lonnie Cruse

When I worked as a substitute teacher's aide a few years back, I often subbed in the various school libraries. On Fridays, after they turned in their checked-out books, the students in one elementary school were allowed to watch a movie. They always chose a Goosebumps movie from the books written by R. L. Stine. I gotta say, the movies always scared me far more than they scared the kids. Whew. One of my grandsons is now reading that set of books, and he loves them.

The newest rage seems to be the Twilight Saga series by Stephenie Meyer. Teenager readers are devouring the books, but so are adults. I've watched the movie based on the first book, but haven't had a chance to read the series yet. Those who have read the books love them. I'm fond of vampires, particularly Bella Lugosi, so I obviously need to read the books.

My point here is that though these books are scary, they are getting young people to READ! That is always a plus. And if older readers love them as well, that's another plus!

Writers and publishers have been mourning the loss of the reading public for a long time. If vampires bring readers back to books, then that's a great thing!

Reading has been one of the biggest pleasures of my life for as long as I can remember. I can't even remember not reading. I do know that my step-mom, the teacher, got me interested in reading. I bless her memory for that. Reading takes me away to another world, particularly when I'm stressed. Reading helps relax me so I can fall asleep. Maybe that's one of the reasons I can't read really graphic books or watch really gory movies. Life is often tough enough without adding darkness to it through my reading. That's just me.

How important is reading to you? Do you share your love of reading with others by buying them books or at least gift certificates from book stores? Do you encourage your loved ones to read? Do they see you reading? Just some thoughts and suggestions from me.



Sheila Connolly said...

My daughter works in an independent bookstore, so maybe we did something right, reading to her from Day One (and she was a literature major in college). I've already started sending my young great-nephews books, starting with the lovely picture and pop-up books, both those that I remember and a whole new crop. I can't imagine life without books.

I must say I think it's funny that young readers who may not read a lot are leaping straight to the huge blockbuster series like Rowling's and Meyer's. I say hurrah!

Lonnie Cruse said...

Hurrah, indeed, Sheila! Whatever gets people reading!

Julia Buckley said...

Reading is wonderful--it's brought me a great deal of happiness, so of course when I wanted to make my children happy I read to them or took them to the library.

Also, when the tooth fairy came, she brought books.

As an English teacher I can attest to the fact that reading expands vocabularies--no doubt about it. Not to mention that it expands horizons.

signlady217 said...

My mom read to us from day one, too. And took us to the library, where we'd pick out the books we wanted and she would check them out for us. Then as soon as we were old enough, we got our own library cards. We were actually in there so often they remembered our names when we moved back to town after a 5-year absence! Even where I live now, the librarians know me by name when they see me in town. (Yes, I am in there a lot!!)

My family always gives each other books for Christmas and birthdays, or at least gift cards for bookstores, and sometimes both. That's just expected as normal.

And my friends' kids always get books from me for Christmas. Again, just kind of expected as normal.

Love, love, love my books!

lil Gluckstern said...

Just discovered this blog and I am relishing it. I started reading at 4 and I have never looked back. My kids went to the library for story hour at two and my grandchildren got their first books before they were born. I don't get people who don't read, and I am an incorrigible bookaholic-could be worse right?

Paul said...

For many years my kids always got a book included with their presents for birthdays and holidays. They never complained.

I'd heard someone say that vampire stories tend to be popular under Democratic administrations because the vampires represent what the public fears, in this case the blood sucking, manipulative Republicans.

Under Republican administrations, zombie stories are on the rise because zombies represent the mindless rabble that Democrats represent.

kathy d. said...

My nephew loved the Goosebump series and I gave him some of the books. Then he reaced through the Animorphs books. Now he reads a lot of books I don't which have a trace of horror or science fiction.

The main thing is he reads and he's even read some of the Russian greats, besting me.

I was taken to the library when I was 3 and never stopped reading. When I was in high school, I was never without a book and loved Steinbeck, Dreiser, Sinclair--so many, and also began reading mysteries: Perry Mason, Nero Wolfe, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot. I was late to school so often because I couldn't close the books at night and go to bed.

This is still true.

And I do buy children I know books, beginning at a young age.

It is a privilege and a joy to have books.