As compulsive reader, I am not immune to that yearn for converting any non-reader to the book-side of life.
We all know how it goes.
Reader: “So, what kind of books you like?”
Non-Reader: “Uhm… I don’t read a lot, you know. Not books, anyway.”
R (horrified): “Whaaaaat? That is not possible!”
NR (quite puzzled by R reaction): “I just don’t like books, I guess.”
R: “It’s certainly because you haven’t met the right book yet…”
This scene is normally followed by hundreds of attempts from the Reader to find the ‘right’ book, the one the will awaken the Non-Reader’s interest in books, the one that will open his mind to a whole lot of different universes.
Most of the time, it ends in disaster.
In my case, however, I have a few good hopes: my non-reader/mission is my niece. She is 8 months old.
I don’t get to spent much time with her (me living in England and her being in Italy), but last time I went to visit, I happened to pass with the stroller by a bookshop. Obviously I stopped and I immediately made a list for the years to come:
- Roald Dahl. Oh well, anytime is good. Mommy can start reading it out loud even now!
- Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. It would be good fun for the little girl to try and emulate those two rascals, while she attends primary school! There, I decided what to give as present for her 6/7th birthday.
- Jules Vernes. Should I wait until 8 or 9 years old? It’ll a bit of an archaic language for her, better wait until she knows how to use a dictionary.
- Harry Potter. 11 years old onwards. I don’t even have to think about it.
- Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Little Women. From 13 years old. Some empathetic reading for those days, when love stories and pretty boys will be all she thinks about.
- George Orwell. Probably better to wait until 15-16 years old, or she’ll understand very little about it.
I have to say, that bookshop was poorly furnished and quite cheeky for the most part. Anyway, I manage to schedule my niece’s book-life. Now she have no choice but to turn to the Book-Side of Life herself…