Sunday Problems: The Boy And His Books

2019-02-24 13.10.09

I have a teenager. He is an enigma. Just like all teenagers are to their parents. He is a lot like I was at his age, and he makes me appreciate my mom every day for putting up with me all those years ago. Like me, he needs to read just one more page of his current read, and like me, he is willing to forget everything else when he is in some other fantasy world. This makes for some interesting clashes between us.

Is there a name for the feeling when you’re in the middle of a rant about how schoolwork should come before anything else, and realize that you yourself were once in the exact same situation that your son now finds himself in? How do you keep your face straight? Do you leave the argument mid-rant? Or do you finish it off, all the while feeling like the worst hypocrite? Because if you’re honest with yourself, you still do the same thing when you stay awake all night to finish a book even when you know you have to get up early the next morning, and go to a very important parent-teacher meeting!

My love for reading was passed on to me by both my parents. Ever since I can remember, I have had some kind of books in my hands. It’s like a madness in all of us, and I seem to have passed it on to my kids. The eldest one has it really bad. He even has the same obsessive notions about books that I do. Like having the same editions for a single series, or thinking it the end of the world if, God forbid, a book cover gets a crease from somewhere, or needing to have a copy of his own even if he can borrow it from someone.

I have a box set of The Lord of The Rings paperbacks that I really love. When he asked to read the series, I let him borrow it. I thought he was quite young for it, and sure enough, he got bored and couldn’t finish it. However, not only was he able to finish The Hobbit, he also enjoyed reading it. Ever since then, somehow he got into his head that he needs to have a copy of The Lord of The Rings in one binding. He kept asking me, I kept telling him no because we already have a set at home.

One day, he found a very nice paperback with the whole series in one binding, and got so fascinated with it that I just had to buy it for him. The book is so thick that it can be used as a foundation stone in the construction of the Two Towers! Just picking it up requires serious muscle. But the boy is happy. He has been reading it religiously, hasn’t even looked at any new books while he is attempting to finish this one.

At first I was surprised at his sudden interest in reading something he had failed at before. Then I realized that this interest was born after watching the LOTR movies. I have never liked movies based on books; I hadn’t even watched the Harry Potter movies until last year. But this in my eyes is the true success of The Lord of The Rings movies… making my son motivated to actually compare the books and the movies.

So now, I sit and wait for him to finish with the tome, so that we can give some attention to the science project due in a few weeks. Today, he finally told me that he is now reading The Return of The King, and I couldn’t help but give a sigh of relief. Now maybe I can get back to some important things myself, like getting a start on that Good Reads challenge that I took up the other day!

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