Sometimes I feel sorry for kids today with all of the scouts, sports, dance, martial arts, theater, gymnastics and video games that vie for their free time. We want our children to live full and well-rounded lives, and we want to give them as much exposure to a full childhood as we can, but those busy, busy schedules don’t leave much time to just be a kid. To use their imaginations. To be bored. To read a book.

  • When I was a little girl, back in the Stone Ages, life was much slower. Part of that is because I grew up on a big farm in Ohio, and part of it was because we didn’t have a television gasp. What we did have was books. We would load up in the station wagon once every few weeks and descend on the public library. I loved that library. It was one of the Carnegie libraries with stone steps sweeping up to a columnated veranda. Each of us had a brown grocery bag, and we would fill them full. There was a book with a one-eyed ogre that I remember as a favorite, the Boxcar Children, the Littles, and the Oz series by L. Frank Baum. Most everyone is familiar with the musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” and the hauntingly lyrical voice of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I remember those magical hours spent curled up with a good book as being so idyllic that I severely curtailed my own children’s screen time. They, bless their hearts, were awarded a half hour of screen time for every hour of book reading. They thought that was excessive, but I wonder now if I should have made it even more.

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