I wonder what you thought when you first read the title of this post? Perhaps you thought this post would be all about bed bugs and mites and things? Or perhaps your mind took you in a different direction? Well actually it is about books and reading. And about the worlds which are often only found beneath the covers of a book. (Or in this technologically advanced age – under the shiny screen of a kindle or e-book reader or iPad or whatever.) And yes, as a child, they were also worlds I found as I secretly read under the covers of my bed.
Actually, this post is the third in the additional challenge I set within the ‘Little and Not So Little Things From Childhood’ game that I set in a previous post and this morning I am focussing on my answer to question 9. ‘Favourite book as a child?’
The answer I gave was as follows…
The first and probably my most favourite as a child was a huge old family King James bible. It had wooden covers and golden edges to it’s pages and beautiful full page colour pictures within it. I loved it! And I read it endlessly.
The second is the Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I would have been about 10 years old when I first discovered it and devoured both it and the whole set of books in the series. I never imagined it would ever become a set of movies or that it would become such a popular story. But I simply lost myself within the pages of those books. And again I now own the set.
I absolutely loved reading! And from that love came my love of writing and has no doubt contributed to my love of blogging.
And I have to tell you that whilst as a writer and someone who therefore benefits from the additional royalties earned through the ease and accessibility of my books also being available to download as e-books on Amazon kindles and the such, I do mourn what seems to be the long and somewhat painful death of actual printed books.
I truly believe that there is; an intimacy, a feel, a smell, a physical connection that is gained by reading an actual printed book which is somehow lost within the microchips and motherboards of electronic devices.
Opening the cover of a book was like opening the lid of a treasure chest, opening a portal to another world. And importantly – for me at least – it was a way of losing myself from the world I felt trapped in and which didn’t understand me, into a world which offered escape and adventure and which I never needed to understand me.
Many worlds actually. Worlds which broadened not only my horizons but also my understandings. Understandings of; life, of people, of relationships, of love, and of me.
And more importantly, in respect of that huge old wooden covered family bible, understandings of a God. A God who wasn’t the grey and angry and invisible and detached old figure that was portrayed in the mono-toned sermons of the church I was sent to each Sunday.
But one who was instead; loving, caring, hopeful, compassionate and who sought not to see us, to see me, fail but one who yearned for, longed for, reached out for, us, for me, to succeed and to come home to Him.
Yes, beneath the covers of books I found new worlds. Not only in the fantasies conjured up in the imaginations of such writers as: Enid Blyton. J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, A. A. Milne, Mark Twain, Beatrix Potter, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Richmal Crompton, Geoffrey Chaucer and the such – but also worlds which are held in the single tear drop of a loving heavenly Father.
I am, as you can probably tell, so very grateful to books and to all the people who take time to write them.
And it is my fervent prayer and hope that books – printed actual ink on paper books – never become a thing of the past.
I embrace technology – anyone who knows me will know that and that I have a love of gadgets. But I so desire for children everywhere to catch hold of the tactile joy of books and the wonderment of the stories and adventures that they contain.
if you go into your child’s bedroom at night and find them hiding under their covers, torch in hand, reading a story. Please don’t shout at them, chastise or discipline them. Why not climb under the covers with them, take them in your arms and search out new worlds together with them?
Who knows perhaps you won’t only find a doorway in to the worlds that they are exploring but also a doorway further into their heart. And who knows perhaps by finding that extra special place in their heart they will start sharing with you the world within their mind and bringing to you even more of their own story.