I can't remember a time when I didn't love to read. As a child, I read books like inhaling potato chips - I couldn't carry enough books from the library to last me the week until my mother would take me again.
With The Rabbit nearly 7, and reading for the past 2 years, I have filled her room with books the way I imagine some parents fill their child's room with crayons and paper and paints and glue. Or blocks and Lego and trains. We have those too. But to me, books are the wonder.
I think I've taught her well. Taught her that the crack of a spine on a new book as it gently opens is Mozart. That the crinkle of a wrapping from a library cover is joy, calling "Open me. Here. Listen. Dive."
I've taught her that feeling of paper -- smooth and rough, full of anticipation. Taught her that words are bells. Hearing them in her head. Reading them out loud. That they are toys - to be played with, written, turned into her own stories.
I taught her about DiCamillo and Gaiman and Seuss and White and Silverstein. And I'm watching her find others on her own. Dahl and Barrows and Meadows.
I take her to the library and to bookstores and say, 'Just pick something that looks good' as my mom said to me. And I lose her in the stacks, to turn a corner and find a book propped on her small knees and her mouth moving and it's right. Sometimes she picks a recipe book. Sometimes a book with more pictures than words. Sometimes it's about snakes. Sometimes jokes. Favorites lately are fairies. She is, after all, a little girl.
But I don't care what she reads. I care that she reads. And she never stops.