My dear old books have witnessed decades of children carefully listening to their words. They have made children laugh, feel scared, ask hundreds of questions, and come to understand the heart of well-written words and a good story. Words are a treasure. Today those words fell onto the floor.
“Jennie, the pages fell out. You need a new book.”
Oh, no! Never. Those yellow and brown pages have lived. My reading their words have made them come alive, over and over again. Like a grandparent telling a story, their words have sprinkled gold dust onto children.
I just finished chapter reading Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Today I began to read-aloud the next book in the series, Little House on The Prairie. Laura and her family move from the little house in the woods of Wisconsin. We loved that little house and her family. I read:
“So they all went away from the little log house. The shutters were over the windows, so the little house could not see them go. It stayed there inside the log fence, behind the two big oak trees that in summertime had made green roofs for Mary and Laura to play under. And that was the last of the little house.”
I read those words slowly. I read them quietly. The little house was saying goodbye. Forever. When I looked at the children, every child was sitting up, staring, and not saying a word. Their eyes said it all. Or perhaps it was the silence. With that paragraph, those gold dust words, the memories and stories of all that had happened in Little House in the Big Woods came rushing like a flood.
We stopped. We talked. We read more, and a new adventure was beginning.
My old books had yet another day of their words coming alive for children. I often wonder if those books have eyes and ears, and squirrel away what the children say. Do they feel what the children feel? It seems so, because every time I read, there is something new- it’s a sense that I get. I think the books are wise. No, I wouldn’t trade old and yellow and brown books with pages falling out, for anything. Their words are magic.
Your words are magic, Jennie. We are putting doors over bookshelves in an ‘office’ room. I’m sad because they will hide my fav books, my trophies of the mind.
Thanks, Steve. Trophies of the mind. I like
That! Words do hold magic.
3 wonderful quotes. Teddy R knew a thing or two about perseverance. Have you read, ‘The River of Doubt’? Excellent read about TR and his drive to achieve even at the risk of death.
No, I haven’t read that book. Thanks for the recommendation, Steve!! 🙂
The old books, the classics and those we stumble upon in new reading choices all make the best way to enchant and hold those little children’s minds and attention. What worked for us also is meaningful to the newest ones. 🙂 Thanks, Jennie.
Well said, Robin. I couldn’t agree more!
Lovedddddd these books
Keep those old books, Jennie. They have magic stored up in those loose pages.
Best wishes, Pete.
I will, Pete. Many thanks and best to you.
Your love of books comes through strong! My books are my best friends too. You should see my copy of Little Women or the Bobbsey Twins. Considering they are 60 years old, they are doing just fine and go with me wherever I go.
I love that, Darlene! Best friends, for sure! 😀
The magic is just waiting for someone to open the cover and let it out. Delightful Post, Jennie. ☺☺
Thank you, Patricia!
You are what brings the magic out of those books. Someone else could read them and they might not have the same magic. You are putting your heart into the reading and that’s what makes it magical. It would be like tossing out a well loved teddy because it was threadbare. No, no, no! I loved reading this bit of magic.
Thank you, Marlene. I am putting your words into my heart. You paint a picture of just what I am. Yes, when I read the words, the magic happens, but there has to be wonderful words and great literature for me to read. Threadbare Teddy Bears are the best, much like old yellow pages.
Yes, their words are magic. I have used ducttape to repair some books I have used in my classes when they started falling apart.
I love that. Duct tape is a bandaid to preserve those words.
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
This post on the magic in books and the inherent value in old books is wonderful!
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
OLD BOOKS ARE INDEED MAGIC!
Indeed they are! Thank you for reblogging.
Beautifully put. I have shelves of old books and actively seek them out. There is nothing more precious.
The books may age, but the stories never do. That makes me smile. We have many 3-generation books in my house, yellowed, taped, occasionally scribbled on, and well-loved.
re: “I often wonder if those books have eyes and ears, and squirrel away what the children say. Do they feel what the children feel? It seems so, because every time I read, there is something new- it’s a sense that I get. I think the books are wise. ”
I think you have a true connection to those books.
I have come to believe, the authors’ consciousness is embedded into their books. How could it not be? This is why certain books may ‘call out to you’. Sometimes a library book will ‘fall off the shelf’ and catch your attention. Books look for us. They are wise.
So, IF a book absorbs the authors’ consciousness, I believe that your books are filled with your consciousness and that of every child who you introduced the books too.
Yes, books are wise and alive.
You can feel it and so can your children.
Your books will be in a museum one day, in honor of YOU and your children.
Ren, exactly my book thinking. They do have a life of their own, a heart, and the reader brings those words and feelings to life- thus making magic. I feel so lucky to be that reader-aloud! Many thanks for your thoughts and your lovely, kind words!
What a beautiful post, Jennie. You bring the gold dust to those children, waving your magic wand of literature, opening their eyes and imaginations. It’s pure magic. The children whose lives you touch are very fortunate.
Awww…that is so kind Norah. Thank you!
You are welcome, Jennie. Have a great week.
Same to you, Norah! 🙂
Thank goodness I have a new (and BETTER) excuse for keeping all of my books! This was a magical post for certain!
I’m so glad, KC. Thank you!
This was lovely, Jennie. You describe such a magical “pause” where your words sank into those children’s memory banks. “The Little House in the Prairie” was being said “goodbye to.” Not just by the Wilder family but by your students. 🙂
I just took a lot of glue on a medium paintbrush and stuck a whole section of “The Golden Book of Poetry” back into place. Whew! Little Kyah, six years old in the end of her kindergarten year discovered this and brought it to me worried. She told me (Nana) she didn’t do this! I have an old saying which is, “Honesty is the best policy.” No one gets in trouble for telling me almost ANY thing! 🙂
I do love those books, and so do the children. The pauses and voices I use when reading give those old books life. I can picture you gluing your children’s poetry book, and Kyah being worried!
Yay for old books! I can just see those kids going home and scolding their parents for trying to recycle a torn book, lol. As E. B. White said: “…books are people—people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
Marcia, I love this E.B. White quote. Thank you! He is right- I stay alive with my old books. I love my old books. They bring everything to life.
Oh, I wish I could have been in the room to see and hear you read that to the kids.
That’s so nice, John. Thank you!
You are a treasure far greater than your wonderful, animated books “that have lived” Jennie.
You have a phenomenal way with words!
Paulette L. Motzko
Thank you, Paulette! 🙂
It is the truth. GOD made you to be extraordinary.
I would love you to email me that image that you used of “The Little House on the Prairie” and I’ll add it to the reblogs and I did on both TotallyInspiredMind.com and ChildrenAreOurFutureNow.com.
Will do that when I get home from work!
Thanks so much Jennie.
I just got your photo and it is soon going to illustrate your story. I sent you an email with the inspirational story that goes with it.
Thank you! I look forward to reading it tonight.
As of midnight, your story is #8 on the top 10 list for the day. I just thought you’d like to know.
Just sent you the photo, Paulette.
Oh Jennie!! I love this. What a beautiful moment with your kids. 💜 I agree, I love old books.
You are such a gift to these kids. (i know I say that a lot and it’s true!) I love reading about the connections you share with them. It’s a joy – and I sorta needed it tonight
So much love to you all -senhor
Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:
The author of today’s re-blog says, “… I wouldn’t trade old and yellow and brown books with pages falling out, for anything. Their words are magic.”
Reblogged this on Sharon E. Cathcart and commented:
My precious childhood copy of Dodie Smith’s “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” is held together with tape and prayer. I hope to one day read it to grandchildren and have them experience the awe I felt at Pongo and Missus’ great adventures to save their puppies.
What a wonderful story, Sharon. Thank you! I can picture your beloved book taped together. All the words are still there, and that’s what matters. Your grandchildren will love it, because you will read it with heart and passion. 🙂