To my non-bookworm friends, let me tell you about our world. We smell books. Like literally, open a book and take a whiff. We secretly hide our excitement when we crack open a brand new book. We have strong-held beliefs about how to mark our page because god forbid you dog-ear a page when it's a strict bookmark rule.
This love, this obsession, is usually not built overnight. It is a gradual development of a relationship with the written word. It comes after having been moved by a book, amused by a book, cheered up and disappointed by and completely moved by a book. It is a world we cherish because it has frequently helped us. And it is a world I would love for you to introduce to your child.
How? You gift them a book. You present it with as much pride and joy and generosity as you would the gifts we shower our children with.
Start introducing the concept of gifting a book, in certain occasions or simply when you find one that perfectly matches something they are going through (because we all know, there is a book for almost anything).
The first time I gifted a friend's son books for his birthday, I must admit I worried I would seem cheap or inconsiderate to the joys of a child. I did not want my gift to be repetitive, one amongst many, and I was secretly giving him a piece of myself by offering books - kind of like the key to a secret garden, if you will. To my relief, the mother thanked me. She told me she loved that it is different, that they can enjoy it together and it's beneficial.
And you know what? There are multiple occasions you can gift a book; Eid, birthdays, illness, back to school, summer vacation, reward for an achievement; it's endless!
The way I see it, when the present is a book, you're really provoking the child's thoughts. You're telling them here is a beautiful story I want to share with you. Here is time I am willing to spend focusing on you. Here is a world you can disappear into when you just need a moment.
Reading has SO many benefits. Ones which I am sure to bore you with in future posts. The point of this post, though, is to tell you that gifting your child a book is the first step to reaping all those benefits. Because you are showing them the value of a book.