Books n Books n Books

I can go twice as high
Take a look, it’s in a book – Reading Rainbow Theme Song

It’s funny the things we over compensate for the things we want our kids to have that we didn’t have growing up.

For me — it’s the Scholastic Book Fair.
More than actually going to the library and looking for books, I distinctly remember the envy I felt watching other kids getting their books delivered to them.
We’d be handed the newspaper-like book order form and kids would turn it in to their teachers with check or cash included.
I never participated.

Part of it was that we weren’t that wealthy growing up.
We were an immigrant family. And my dad was a pastor on top of that. Unless you’re swindling people, ministry isn’t a profitable career (though, it may be prophet-able *rim shot*)
The other part was that we were an immigrant family.
I didn’t know how to ask or explain what the book fair was and how to order books and all that other stuff.
Maybe I should’ve tried. But The-Maybe-I-Should’ve-Tried line of thinking comes from being more American than Korean. Korean (immigrant) kids don’t have the luxury to talk to their parents the way many white American kids did/do. I mean, I don’t know my grandparents’s (both sets) names because we weren’t ever to address them by name.

So now that I have a kid I have to keep alive, I overcompensate that childhood memory by buying him a book whenever he wants one.
He hasn’t figured out that loophole yet.
But when he brings home that Book Fair order form and asks, ”Can I get a book?” my immediate response is: which ones?

When we make a trip to Barnes & Nobles and he asks if he could buy a book, we’ll walk away with one.
If he happens to grab a book that’s like ridiculously expensive, I’d try to swerve him to a far more affordable book.
No Nathanael, you don’t need a $50 book on photography of trains but hey, how about this book called the Little Engine That Could? And Dolly Parton is involved in it.

And the thing is, Nathanael’s really good at reading!
He’s progressed so much and I want to keep that going.
I’ve all but given up on math. Unfortunately, that he shares with me. I’m not good at the math. I bust that stereotype right away.
So the more he wants to read, the more I want to encourage it.

We’ve also finally cut the cord when it comes to cable.
And I think a byproduct of that is, I’ve been reading more books — especially fiction. And, that’s what I want Nathanael see me doing more than just sitting around playing video games and watching TV. Maybe if he sees me reading more, he’ll continue to want to read more.

We’re still in January and I’ve finished 5 books already. 5! Like, what? I’m almost a quarter way to my yearly goal (of 24)… is 5 almost a 25% of 24? I’m sure it’s close enough. It feels like it’ll be close enough — and that’s what math is right? Feeling and intuiting your way to the right answer!

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Beautiful World, Where are You by Sally Rooney
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell.

I’m almost to the end of listening to Will Smith’s book, Will and a quarter done with The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab.

I think part of it is, I was personally annoyed that I fell way short of 24 books for 2021.
The other part of it is the lack of cable TV.
And still another part of it is stupid BookTok. Those book TikTokers sell those books. That’s how I got hooked on Legendborn and Addie LaRue.

The last time I went to Barnes & Nobles (I was looking for a copy of Legendborn, which they did not have) and Nate wanted to go to the kids book section.
I asked him, do you want a book?
And he said, “Sure!” (which made me think, maybe I don’t prompt him next time)
He picked Love You Forever.
Cool. That night, he wanted to read it and I said, yea, let’s do it.
Our routine is — the first night, I’ll read the book in its entirety and the following nights, he reads it.
Near the end of the book, I realized, I’ve never read this book.
In fact, my only real encounter with this book is that episode of Friends where Joey does a live reading for Baby Emma.
We’re getting to the part where the kid is growing older and the mom sneaks into his house to hold him (uh… a little bit of a ’yikes’ but hey, it’s a lovely sentiment). Then we’re getting to the part where Mom’s getting older and I’m like — oh no. I can’t stop the feels.

”Daddy, why you crying?”
”Well… uh… because the book is really good. Good choice, buddy.”
That book has no reason to be that emotionally tugging.
We haven’t touched that book, since.
I don’t think my heart can take it, right now.

Anyway, here’s to all the good books yet to be read in 2022.

Disclaimer that I’m not self-editing these posts and apologize for the grammatical errors you’ll encounter. Hopefully you got what I meant and not what I wrote. Thanks for reading. Really do appreciate you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s