The other day this person I met asked me if I remembered the 1st ever book I read.. I racked my brain for a few minutes and gave up! Came home and asked mom, she said it was a set of books gifted by my athai [ aunt] - Jack & the beanstalk, Sleeping beauty, The Swiss Family Robinson, Snow white & 7 dwarfs and one more.. I have them around somewhere at home, unless mom has given them away to some cousin or uncle.
Dont ever remember mom /dad reading to me, but do remember being nose deep into books... And am sure this is a habit that just sky rocketed when we were in Tirunelveli.. Uncles used to visit us and every time would be with a box of books and music cassettes. That is how I fell in love with books and reading. Amar Chitra Katha is one set of comic book series that I remember being part of the collection. Even today, whenever I see an ACK book, I will pick it up and read through before putting it back on the shelf.
Whenever I go visiting a friend/family, if there is a kid in that space, I always carry books. I have cousins & friends who are abroad, so their kids get books that have both english & tamil in them. Sometimes the parents thank me for the books and other times I am met with glares that say "now we are drowning in books, no space at home already...". lolz.. It gives me such joy to see kids reading... Am ok with them reading even silly books, as long as they get into the habit.. I know for sure they will grow up figuring out the genre that appeals to them.
I also don't mind sitting and telling stories, or reading books to the kids. Its fun watching their expressions, and answering questions about the pieces of a story. They pick up new words, thereby their vocabulary improves. Infact, I believe this for everyone.. The more you read, the more it is reflected in your personality.. No, I am not judging anyone, just saying!
Today, kids have such a range of books available to them- Indian and international.. It leaves me puzzled whenever I go book shopping. There are some that have 40-50 as part of the series, some into fantasy, others general, and more.. Uff... And so when I stumbled upon this list put together by Amar Chitra Katha, I was kicked and had to share it... The best part is I have read all the books on the list, some of it might be for slightly older kids, but others work for little ones as well. It was exciting to see Malgudi days sitting proudly at the 4th spot.. I am back to reading and watching the series.. have you read it?
Read the article here
There are always books and authors waiting to be discovered. Reminds me of the time a friend & I had visited this space called "Rare books" housed in a garage.... The minute you step in, you are transported to a different world altogether. We met Mr. Govindaraju, the 82-year-old who was lost in pages from newspaper and magazines, pulling out interesting/ vintage ads. He is an avid reader, collector and has taken over the reigns from his father. I picked up two books from that space and must say it was the most fun I have had in a long time.... He had shelves piled up with books as high as the ceiling and we walked around the tiny space, taking it all in....