Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up, no bedtime was complete without a proper tucking in followed by stories that ranged from Dick and Jane’s adventures to Dr. Seuss to Peanuts and Garfield. My folks were good about mixing things up, but like all kids, I had my favorite. Anytime they allowed me to choose, my go-to was Roger’s Umbrella. Mom and Dad wore out the binding, and likely their patience, yet I never tired of hearing the same tale over and over again.
To this day, few stories have stayed with me like Roger’s Umbrella. Granted, my tastes have changed over the years and new books became my obsession. I cracked the spine on The Indian in the Cupboard, re-read Who is Bugs Potter? more times than I could count, and even now pull Dave Barry’s Big Trouble off the shelf at least once a year. Yet Roger’s Umbrella resides in a special place in my heart. Partially because it's a sweet tale of a “boy” and his increasingly disobedient umbrella, but mostly because it was the first book to ignite my passion for reading.
And that’s a gift I can’t wait to pass down.
My wife and I have enjoyed the holidays, not only because it was some much-needed time off, but also because of all the attention that goes along with being expecting parents. In six months, we’ll say hello to our first child and we've been dealing with the euphoria (and sheer terror) that goes along with it. We’re asking questions that new parents have asked for generations and sharing similar worries. But we’re also excited and impatient to meet our daughter. We can’t wait to show our June Bug this planet and all its wonders, to spend the days watching her grown and learn.
And spend the nights reading her to sleep.
There are few treasures as precious as a book. They stir the imagination and allow the reader to experience worlds filled with wondrous people and places. Sometimes they make us laugh, sometimes they make us cry, and sometimes they leave us questioning ourselves or those around us. They are portals to other dimensions that we can access anytime we wish and revisit as often as we like.
All we need to do is open the cover.
Mom and Dad gave me the gift of Roger’s Umbrella and through it, sparked a love for reading. In the years to come, I hope pass that gift on to my daughter. With any luck, she'll become enthralled with the written word and begin a journey of constant discovery.
And who knows, maybe one day she, too, will find herself tucking her own daughter into bed and reading from the same worn, dog-eared book that my parents gave to me.
So, what books sparked your passion growing up?
Joshua Roots is a car collector, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He's still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.
Paranormal Chaos, the final book in The Shifter Chronicles, is available for pre-order wherever digital books are sold.