When I was young I loved to read. When my family lived in Bangladesh, our compound had pretty much the entire hardback set of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, and I read them all — despite being 5. My dad read us the Narnia Series and the Hobbit when we were just little tykes, and I loved imagining myself on adventures like that. He seemed pretty determined to instill in us a love of literature, and to that end, we always had a great library of books on hand, and I read practically all of them.
Benjamin may be too young to buy toys for yet, but he’s not too young for us to start building a library for him to dive into just as soon as he’s interested. It may be a couple years, but I want to make sure he has no shortage of stimulation for his little brain. I, in no small part, attribute what success and ideals I’ve managed to capture in life to the knowledge, wisdom and creativity I’ve been inspired by in the pages writ by people smarter than myself, and I want Benjamin to have the same advantage my parents provided me.
The aforementioned Narnia Series (the first book of which was turned into a wonderous movie, which Ben will see after he reads it) and The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings books, are two sets that I’ve had in my library for a few years now — in case I should ever become a dad. But today I picked up another book no less fanciful, but with a careful tribute paid to the science it borrows its ideas from. One which, more than most other books I read as a child, led me think in ways totally new and fascinating and well beyond the normal ponderings of a small boy. It was called A Wrinkle in Time, and today I picked up a copy for my son. Along with imaginary lightsaber battles, and adventures exploring the backyard, I’m looking forward to the day my son and I can discuss the mind-bending details of this story together.
If you haven’t read it, ignore the fact that you’ll find it in the kids section. Pick it up and read it — I think you’ll find it sufficiently stimulating regardless of your age. I have every intention of re-reading it before I pass it on to Benjamin.