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Daddy Goes Berserk: Stay-at-Home Nerd [BOOK WEEK]

Don’t get me wrong, I love books – have all my life, but if you took my quiz last time (and by the way you really should) then you would know with some degree of certainty that the last book I had read at the time of the posting was HIPPOS GO BESERK by Sandra Boynton.

I’d like to say that the last book I read has changed over the previous two weeks, but I can’t.  That’s not to say I haven’t read anything else in the meantime.  I have.  I’ve read THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR by Arthur Phillips, I FOUND THIS FUNNY edited by Apatow (yeah, that one), and WILD CHILD AND OTHER STORIES by T.C. Boyle.  Great books all around, I assure you.  However, they don’t have the stick-to-it-iveness of say 44 hippos and a beast attending then leaving a party.  I’m not even sure it’s premise driven.  What it is, though, is a children’s book, in case you haven’t guessed, and children’s books all have one thing in common: the children who read them  (and by read I mean have their parents read to them), the children who love to read them again and again and again.  I’ve read that book more times in one day than any other book I’ve read in my lifetime.  In fact, I’ve read that book more times in one week than Stephen King reads in a year (about 80 according to his book “On Writing”, which I also read some time ago.  Now I don’t know if I ever got up to 80 books a year even in my prime as I’m more of a film guy, but I would like to say that a book a week is quite normal.  Couple that with the twenty plus magazine subscriptions my wife and I share and it’s easy to consider ourselves readers.  We want our kid to read, sure, but is this what makes one a reader?  I don’t know.

My mom’s a reader and at a two to three books a week makes me look like I graduated from public school ( I did) during the no-child-left-behind period of American History (I didn’t — I graduated earlier when you still had to actually read).  That said, my sister is not a reader.  She’s a nurse by trade and certainly made her way through school, but I’ve never seen her pick up a fiction book, or even a non-fiction book in my life.  Is that bad?  I don’t know.  My dad wasn’t a reader.  However, he was a book collector of sorts and I always found it funny that he surrounded himself with volumes of the knowledge that he would never know.  Maybe that qualifies as irony.  I don’t know.

I do know that reading to my son is fun.  It calms him.  He seems to be engaged in the book.  It gets him ready for bed.  He points at things in the book and makes funny sounds.  I think he knows what a banana is because he can point it out in some books.  I hope being read to encourages him to read, and I will continue to read to him until he forces me to stop.  Even if sometimes reading the same book over and over and over can drive Daddy Berserk.