When my children and my sister's children were small, she gave me a copy of "Honey for a Child's Heart" by Gladys Hunt. The back cover of the book states "A good book is a gateway into a wider world of wonder, beauty, delight, and adventure." The book guides parents in including reading in family life and in encouraging children to read. And there's a book list, too, with suggestions for all ages. We read many of the books on that list as a family. Some we read aloud, others the children read on their own. One of the joys of all the reading was that I was introduced to these books, too. I loved "The Secret Garden", "The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe", and "A Certain Small Shepherd" as much as my children did. I have always been a voracious reader, and my mother was a believer in the public library, where we spent a lot of time. But for some reason, I had not been introduced to many of these books.
Now, as a grandmother, I love reading to my grandchildren. I look forward to the time when they are old enough to enjoy what my daughter called "chapter books" - when they beg for "one more chapter" before the lights are out.
But I discovered all those years ago that those books are not just for children. I'm currently reading "Prince Caspian" by C.S. Lewis, which I started just after finishing "The Magician's Nephew" (no, I'm not reading them in order!). I read Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" not long ago, and am thinking of re-reading the Austin Family books. Or maybe I'll go back to some other classics - the books I read as a preteen or teenager, such as "Little Women" and "Jane Eyre". Whenever the new books in the book store or on the library shelve are unappealing, I know it's time to read something that will nourish my soul.
My dad reading to three of his grandchildren in the early 1980s.