It seemed like the kind of place where an adventure would begin. Someone wonders in and is assigned a quest by a quirky shopkeeper. Or maybe as they wander through the stacks, they find a book that sweeps them into another dimension.
All those books, the nooks and crannies, the twists and turns, stacks and odds and ends… it didn’t just seem like a bookstore.
This love of books is relatively new for him.
And as a fellow bookworm, I love it. It’s thrilling to listen to him talk about the worlds he’s diving into, to watch him be so absorbed in a book he doesn’t notice anything else around him, to hear him ask for the next book in a series, to laugh along with him when he wants to make sure he has two books with him in the event he finishes one because he wouldn’t want to be stuck without something to read.
Reading used to be something he only did begrudgingly as he’d roll his eyes and tell me that he’s much stronger in math. So much has changed.
Now, instead of forcing him to read, I sometimes have to tell him to stop. Because he does have to do other things… and it’s not safe to read and walk across a parking lot at the same time.
And he can get so absorbed in a book that he doesn’t hear anything else around him… not his teacher giving a new assignment or asking for the one he’s finished.
So all of a sudden, a new dilemma, a bookworm problem I didn’t see coming: do you ever take away books?
I’ve taken away devices and privileges like going somewhere with friends or a family outing, participating in various sports and activities… but taking away books?
Being a strong reader is never going to be a detriment, no matter what you do with your life. And the worlds he’s being introduced to are feeding his imagination, making him grow, making him think.
So, I just can’t do it. I can’t take away the books.
But I can insist he does all his other work first, before he gets back to the books he loves.