Many of the books I read in childhood are still with me. I can remember things like where I was when I read them, what the cover looked like, who gave them to me, and oddly specific details from the plot.
Books are forever. They are forever imprinted in our hearts — the good ones, at least — and even though books are susceptible to going out of print, even that fate doesn’t make them disappear forever, thanks to libraries, used bookstores, and other avenues of selling and trading books.
There’s something so comforting about knowing that I can share the same book with my children that I loved as a child. And what’s more, there are books I’m now stowing away that my children and I have enjoyed so that I can share them with my future grandchildren.
But aside from the warm and fuzzy nostalgia brought up by this reality, I’ve also used the theory with my adolescent daughter.
She’s an avid reader, so there’s no way I could monitor everything she was reading. In fact, I wouldn’t even want to. It’s my goal to teach her to discern for herself, so a year or two ago when she started dipping into some Young Adult novels, I talked with her about content: what I didn’t like and why I didn’t like it.
When I saw her bring home a new book or a new author, I questioned her about them and specifically asked about that mature content that I hope she is avoiding.
When she was begging me to read Twilight in 5th grade (because “everyone” had read them), I was pretty sure that was NOT what I wanted her ruminating on, so I kept saying “no.” I told her that the books will always be there, and she can always read them later, but they weren’t appropriate now. It’s actually seemed to work for her.
I asked her recently if she still wanted to read them, and she said she didn’t, although that may be the pleaser in her. I still don’t think it’s what I want her ingesting, but forever hasn’t come and gone yet, has it?