One of the things on which we pride ourselves on is having books that reflect our interests; tomes that can be pulled from the shelf at need to reveal information or solve debates. We have a Concise Oxford English dictionary in the house that floats from bedroom to kitchen to living room and has ended wars and resolved disputes in a way that should make the United Nations whimper with envy. When we moved house, we got the van a day early and called a friends the night before moving day to help us load the books. It took five people three hours and the boxes were already packed.
We have a lot of books in our house.
Almost inevitably, Katherine likes books. She takes a stack about a foot high to bed with her for nap time and another stack of equal dimensions for bedtime. She flips through them and recites them for about an hour before falling asleep. It doesn't matter that it's pitch black in there (although recently we've caved and given her a lamp – it's plugged in outside her room so that we can unplug it at need) or that SHE CAN'T READ, she'll spend hours poring over books.
We're pretty happy about this. Lately she's been old enough to enjoy having books read to her that have more story than picture. We've been working through The House At Pooh Corner (the original, not the Disney garbage) and have been reading a bit each night. It's been nice, really, as the Milne works aren't dumb or lame, but are rather clever and well-written.
Today, though, we turned a new page. Metaphorically and physically.
Today she asked me where the lady movie (her term for the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice came from. I explained that it was a book that was made into a movie. She wantedto see the book and would not be put off by my promises of "when you are older you could read it". She wouldn't even buy the, "Daddy will read it when he gets home," deferral, which can sometimes buy me enough time to put it out of her head. No sir. She wanted Pride and Prejudice. The book. To read. Now.
So I went downstairs and dug it off the shelf. Brought it up and explained who Jane Austin was. Astutely, Katherine questioned the relationship between the Jane who wrote the book and the Jane IN the book. She wanted to know which Jane was on the cover. Then she wanted me to read it to her so that she could see that it was the same as in the movie.
We read Chapter One. Now she's in there, having a nap and flipping through the paperback and muttering about "five thousand a year." I can hear her over the baby monitor.