Ever since I was a wee little girl, I have loved books. Coming from a family of readers, it’s pretty much part of my DNA—something for which I’m thankful and maybe even a little proud.
One of my earliest memories is sitting outside with my mother learning to read at the age of three. Granted, I was reading “the cat sat on the mat” not Tolstoy, but I loved it nonetheless.
When I got a little bit older, books were some of the best birthday and Christmas presents you could get; they meant hours of endless entertainment and immersion into an exciting, adventurous world. Along with my sister, I was the kid who would sneak a flashlight under the covers after “lights out” so that I could find out WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT. (Whoever said bookworms don’t live on the edge?)
To further encourage my love for reading, my dad once promised to give me $20 for every letter of the encyclopedia set that I completed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t greedy enough, and I decided that I would rather read fun kid’s books for free than boring adult books for money. (To my credit, I did get all the way up to “aardvark” before giving up.)
Although I don’t ever plan on bribing Baby Palmer to read—at least not for more than a quarter (what can I say? I’m cheap)—I do hope that he gets my book-loving genes. About six or seven years ago, I began collecting stories for my hypothetical kids. I’m picky about illustrations, so I always have an eye out for older books at antique stores and thrift shops.
Most books in my collection are of the “Little Golden” variety. (If you’ve never read “Puppy Love,” get it. Now.) I also have a “My First Golden Dictionary” from 1957 for when Baby Palmer (or his mother) begins to wonder, “What IS a xylophone, anyway?” And, thanks to my future-thinking mother, my little one’s library also includes the Bible picture book that my parents read to me and my sister when we were young, as well as our first cookbooks.
Although Baby Palmer is still in the incubating process, I have read that the stories he hears now might turn out to be his favorites later. (There goes my my nightly routine of reading grocery store romance novels and the National Enquirer out loud.) Still, I don’t plan on cracking open his books just yet. I’m excited to relive my childhood through the colorfully-illustrated pages, but I don’t want to do it alone. My captive audience will be here in just 12 weeks (!), and thus will begin a long and storied tradition (no pun intended) of reading in the Palmer household.
Let’s just hope he doesn’t request Tolstoy instead.