The Life of an Unschooled Bookworm

Today she decided to read all day. In her tall bed she spent half an hour carefully arranging her blankets and pillows in the the perfect reading nest. It’s a square nest, instead of her usually round construction, and she is very proud of the results. It’s cozy and warm, full of pink and purple and surrounded by her personal art gallery taped all over the walls and ceiling. The perfect place for a journey to Hogwarts.

After finishing her construction project she’s spent the entire morning with her nose buried in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She has a stack of extra books next to her: some Narnia, a graphic novel, a couple of DK Eyewitness non-fiction books. An excellent assortment of reads for a girl who’s interested in all sorts of things. But right now it’s really Harry Potter who has her attention, and she’s racing to the finish. I promised that at lunch time I would bring her a sandwich so she doesn’t have to leave her fantastic refuge behind, even for a few pages.

She’s been like this for about a year, ever since she decided to learn to read. That year has been a whirlwind procession of books and favorite authors whose works she devours. Roald Dahl, E.B. White, C.S. Lewis, James Howe, Frank Oz, Robert C. O’Brien, J.K. Rowling. She reads every day, but every once and a while when we stay at home for the day, she’ll build herself a nest and cuddle up with blankets and books.

Last summer the two of us spent a morning together at a local coffee shop, reading and sipping our drinks. She brought along My Little Pony: Daring Do and the Eternal Flower, while I read China Miéville’s This Census-Taker. I drank a large latte while she had a lukewarm hot chocolate. Very different choices, but they suited us, and we spent a wonderful morning doing our favorite things. She still talks about it, usually to ask when we can do it again. Books are a way of life for her, whether sharing them with others or spending time by herself, immersed in a favorite story.

I don’t know if she’ll actually spend the entire day in her nest, but she definitely wants to finish The Prisoner of Azkaban today and probably will. Perhaps she’ll immediately launch into her next read, or maybe she’ll build a puzzle, play a video game, draw a picture, write in her journal, or run around outside. It doesn’t really matter, because whatever she does, she’ll do it because it’s a part of who she is.


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