Importance Of A Good Book

I should have known better, but the temptation was too great. I was cleaning off the bookshelf at the old homestead when I came across a former library book.

My mother was good at buying books to fill the bookshelf for her children to always have something to read. We were encouraged from a very young age to read books and to read to each other. She apparently bought books discarded by libraries, books sold at book sales, and of course, at her beloved garage sales. So now it was time to purge the house of all its contents, including the books.

There were always books included under the Christmas tree and for birthdays. There were books about birds, presidents, mystery books including the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. Mom made sure there was always something to keep our noses in books rather than staring at the TV.

The book now in my hands was titled “The Lonely Mound,” by William Campbell Gault. According to the inside cover, the book was a former product of the Warwood Junior High School Library. The last time the book had been taken out of the school library was on May 23, 1972. It obviously had been sold at a book sale, probably viewed as out of touch with popular readers. But I would disagree. There are some stories that are timeless. This book appears to me to fit in that category.

The cover of the book shows a baseball player on the mound with players behind in the outfield. I made the mistake of opening the book and reading the first page. It began as a simple story with a young man telling about his life growing up in a small town where he played baseball and dreamed of being a great pitcher someday.

It’s not the game of baseball that attracted me so much to the book, but the simple manner in which it was written. After reading a few pages, I knew I wanted to read to the end. However, I remembered the task at hand and vowed to finish the book another day. I moved on to the last few books on the shelf.

I’m not sure where “Growing Up with Roy & Dale” came from, but there it was with a picture of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on the cover. The book was written by their son, Roy Rogers Jr. It’s a tell-all book that has nothing but good things to say about growing up in a Hollywood family that somehow managed to avoid the pitfalls of fame. It, too, would be good read on a snowy winter evening.

When our first grandchild was born, she entered a world filled with books. Her wise parents have made books a daily routine with both her and our grandson. There are bookshelves in the children’s rooms and these toddlers already have their favorite titles dog-eared from repeated use. Their bedtime ritual includes book time with their parents.

My mother would be happy to know what she started with her own children has been instilled in her grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. It’s a perfect ending.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at: hziegler@theintelligencer.