I have once again been struck by Arthur’s appetite for books. Not in a literal, chewing on them sense, though you’d be forgiven for thinking that with his general partiality to eating inanimate objects. No – the appetite I am referring to here is for what the books contain, the pictures and increasingly the words upon their pages.
He’s been interested in books since he was very small, enjoying being read to and curiously seeking them out as soon as he was able to move around. Now he’ll happily sit and ‘read’ to himself – carefully turning the pages, pointing at things he recognises and saying their names. But what he really, really loves is when someone reads with him.
He’s developed this super cute and utterly irresistible technique of finding a book, bringing it to me or Leigh, holding it up to us until we stop whatever we’re doing and sit down, and then climbing into our lap expectantly.
Yesterday his appetite was almost insatiable. In between writing the penultimate chapter of the novel, a lunch time beach picnic and a spot of collage making we read: Dear Zoo, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Snail and the Whale (twice), What can you See Spot?, Hugless Douglas finds a Hug, That’s Not my Reindeer, Eating the Rainbow, Goodnight Moon and It’s Time to Sleep my Love. Oh, and whilst we were at the beach my friend produced a book and he virtually clambered over her two boys to get into her lap ready to be read to!
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to manage to keep this pace up, but I’m loathe to start refusing Arthur books. It makes me very happy that he enjoys not only the stories, which in our multimedia technologically savvy world could come from a multitude of sources, but that he so appreciates the tactile nature of the books themselves. I hope it’s something he manages to hold on to as he discovers all the other distractions that are on offer, and in the mean time I will do all I can to stop and read to him whenever he approaches, book in hand.
After all, quite aside from how much I enjoy it too, I’m not sure there can be many more important things I should be doing at any given moment than sharing a book with my child.