First Books

As a new Kindle reader, I have been giving some thought to the value of paper books over digital and it is sad to think of a world that no longer needs real books.  I am also grateful for the convenience of many books in my hand at once and find myself reading more fiction because it is suddenly accessible to read while nursing or rocking my toddler to sleep.

My preschooler is starting a reading program at school.   This week he brought home his second “Bob” book to practice over the weekend.  I instantly fell in love with the tiny worn paper back that came home protected by a little ziplock bag marked “return on Monday”. The well worn copy has been read by many children over the years as they sound out their very first words  and memorize sight words as essential to basic reading as “the” and (well..) “and”.

I instinctively held the book close as I would an old family photograph or siddur (prayer book).  And I found myself trembling with excitement as my son read to me for the very first time.  I am filled with hope that reading will provide him with enlightenment, joy, laughter, adventure, insight and so much more.  And when I hope and pray for these things, I am not picturing him with an e-reader but with three dimensional books of all kinds,  mountains of them!


  1. Thank you. I agree that it would not be the same if they did all their learning on a computer or Kindle. Be careful of those books and don’t let a younger brother or sister tear them up.

  2. What a great story! I love my e-reader because not having to plan a trip to the library means I’m reading much more these days, but I find myself picking up copies of children’s and young adult books that I especially love to create a stockpile for our (so far unconceived) children. It’s hard to imagine children learning to love books without the actual tactile experience of the thing.

  3. Very touching, Tanya. One of my favorites was/is “The Little Fur Family.” Can’t be read on an e-reader, because the fun of it is the tactile component. I trust you know it…

  4. Thank you for your beautiful words. What a wonderful and eloquent compliment you have given to Bob Books. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful adventure in reading.

    Humbly, Lynn Maslen Kertell, daughter of author Bobby Lynn Maslen

  5. reading programs? in preschool?

  6. Yes! Bob books started coming home here in the Fall, and I sobbed like a baby. They’d come home twelve years earlier, when my daughter was in the same preschool my son attends now. There is nothing like a real book. Especially your first one.

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