Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Our Jen!

Not only has our Jen Robinson at Jen Robinson's Book Page started a marvelous weekly newsletter, Growing Bookworms (you can subscribe here) but she is the featured expert at the PBS 'Expert Q&A' Parents site, this month. There is a splendid conversation about books going on over there.

In her article there, "The Power and Wonder of Children's Books," Jen says something so profound that it stopped me and I re-read it again.

Books have repaid my affection time and time again.

That is such a true statement.

Books have ever been my friends They provided a way to think about my world, and were a gateway to many worlds. They formed the calling for my profession. My husband's love of books was one of the first things I liked about him when we met. This blog, my kidlitosphere community, the circle of brilliant librarians I know--they have all come from books.

Just as I have shared my passion for reading and books with my own children, I owe my love of books, no doubt, to my own mother who always had books for us and who always read to me and my siblings.

My dad often recalls the last lines of Strickland Gillilan's poem The Reading Mother:

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a Mother who read to me.


Jen Robinson said...

Awww... Thanks, Camille. It's so nice to see a post with this subject - it makes me feel like I belong to someplace wonderful.

As for the "Books have repaid my affection time and time again", you're the first person to comment on that specifically, but I certainly think that it's true. Like you, I think of books as my friends, and as providing a gateway to new worlds. In addition to shaping my vocabulary, I think that they've shaped my core values. I don't consciously think: what would Anne of Green Gables do, or anything, but I really do think that characters like her have influenced my sense of right and wrong.

Books have also certainly offered the motivation for this new blog-related work that I'm doing - I just love them so much that I want to share that with other people. I can't quite call it my profession, but it surely is more than a hobby. A calling, perhaps. I've started thinking of what I'm doing with the blog, and PBS and all as a second, near full-time volunteer position. And I wouldn't give it up.

I do love the Reading Mother poem, too. But I also think that some credit goes to the books themselves. Thanks for "getting" that.

Ladytink_534 said...

I love that poem!