A/n: I know I shouldn't be starting another story when I haven't finished the rest this one, well, it's a series of letters from a girl to the family she'll have one day. She hopes.
Some are to her future daughter, some to the guy she'll marry someday. Maybe some to her son, I haven't decided if she'll have one yet. I'm not going to state which letter is to who, though, you'll have to figure that one out by yourselves. But it won't be hard to, I think.
I don't quite know what possessed me to write this, instead of doing something else, like the pile of untouched tutorials sitting less than thirty centimetres from me. Okay, maybe I do. (By now you'd probably think I'm weird and have lost more marbles than I can afford to.)
Alright, I'll get on with it, stop being so impatient already.
I was at a bookstore today. It was quiet, like a library. Big, like a library. Confusing, like a library. (I've always wondered why.) I wanted to get a particular book I'd had my eyes on for a while, but not actively searching; I was browsing through the bookshelves of books and books and more delicious books. And it suddenly occurred to me (that I was taught never to start a sentence with 'And') that I'd want my daughter to love books too. To learn to care for them and love them and treasure the stories they contain beneath their covers. To understand that books have a price, yes, but their contents are priceless.
I think caring for books comes with loving them. Of course, there are people who love their books and have creases in their spines anyway. I can't stand it. There's nothing wrong with creased spines, I just don't like them on principle. I'm talking in circles, aren't I.
Sooo. If you don't know how I'm like with books, then you'll know now: I hate creasing my spines. I wince every time I feel one, especially if it's a brand new book and I'm halfway through the book and realise there's a crease running down it's length. I'm not particular with second-hand books which aren't in perfect conditions, or with library books. It's the new books I don't like creasing. So when I read I support the spine and bend the covers instead (can't help it if it's hardcover though), because the covers can be straightened when you place them between other books. I don't read my books wide open, or leave them that way upside down, something my English teacher drilled into me when I was 10. Maybe I learnt this from her. I hate dog-earing my pages, or covers. I'd wrap my books, but I don't have the time (excuses, excuses), and I suck at wrapping books anyway.
There are going to be a lot of books at home, I'm pretty sure I won't ever stop reading books. Maybe when my eyesight fails or something. Why am I telling you this? Well. Because (never start your sentences with 'because') when you borrow my books (I'm hoping that's a 'when' and not an 'if') I don't want to see them back on the shelf in any condition poorer than before.
Oh dear, I sound like my mother.
People always say that you'll grow up and turn into your mother. I have a feeling you won't want to, and trust me, neither do I.
But then, right now, I'm not reaaally like my mother. My mother doesn't read. I wonder if she used to, though.
I have a lot of books. But most of them weren't from my mother. I can count on one hand the number of books I remember her getting me, outside of textbooks, assessment books and Peter and Jane books.
I can still remember how I got addicted to books. One night (probably a Saturday night), I went into the kitchen and tiptoed to reach for a book on the counter. It was heavy and thick, compared to the ones I had then. I thought it was my mother's, so imagine my surprise when I realised I could read it! I loved the book. That night, I got through one and a half stories in that book.
It was The Twelve Silver Cups by Enid Blyton. I was four.
(I can't exactly remember what the first story was, but the second was about a donkey in a playroom who'd lost his tail. The other toys eventually found him another and managed to stuck it on. I think fairies helped.)
She probably bought me more Enid Blyton books in between, but stopped after a while because I was reading too quickly. My grandmother took over, and as a result of her indulgence I have more books by Enid Blyton than by any other single author. I'm not complaining.
The next book I can remember my mother buying for me is The Chamber of Secrets, by JK Rowling. I was ten, I think. The same English teacher who'd taught me not to leave my books open face down also screened The Sorceror's Stone (aka The Philosopher's Stone) for us. I was hooked. So I got the second book in the series from a rental bookstore, the kind you rent but have an option whether or not to return them. After that I figured watching a film wasn't quite the same as reading the book it was adapted from, so I bugged her to rent the first book for me too. I wonder if you'll read Harry Potter too, or if it'll be the kind of books 'old people' read. Brrr. I am NOT old, I am only seventeen. Just.
My uncle bought me the third book, my mother (after much begging) bought me the fourth. I got the rest myself. That's about it, I think.
I wonder what you'll remember me for, in terms of books.
Right here, right now, I promise you that I will flood you with books. I'm really hoping you'll like reading (someone please affirm me and tell me that a love for reading can be cultivated), so I can buy little children's books for you that I secretly want to read too, and also so that I won't grow up to be one of those parents who try to force their kids to be the kind of people they couldn't. (Then again I hope you'll want to learn piano, violin, guitar, ballet, ice-skating and a thousand and one things that I never got to learn. I think it's human nature.)
I will read you bedtime stories, of fairies and pixies and brownies and trolls and toads under magic mushrooms; of Cinderella and Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (my favourite) and Rapunzel and the Little Mermaid; of Orpheus and Eurydice and Persephone and Hades. Of all the stories I read growing up, of all the stories that I still remember and hold dear to my heart. Of the stories I wish my sisters had read (they haven't, neither of them particularly enjoy reading). Words weave entire universes, places we couldn't even dream of. These, incidentally, are the stories that I realise children nowadays don't read. They're classics! You can't grow up not knowing about them! They're replacing these timeless stories with the likes of television programmes. Urgh. I refuse to let TV decrease your IQ. I'll try not to.
I promise I'll buy you pretty books. That is, books with pretty covers. Okay, so I'll buy them for me on the pretext of buying them for you. Same difference. For example, that huge, thick, beautifully illustrated book I saw in the bookstore today. I can't recall the title but it was something about fairytales. (I love fairytales.) It cost eighty dollars. Well, beauty comes at a price, they say.
They say if you haven't loved, you haven't lived. I say if you haven't read, you haven't lived.
Write another time! Oh my, this IS weird. You won't even exist for a long time yet.