There is something funny about the thought of you reading this blog about books on your laptop, tablet or phone. If you have visited a law office lately you probably saw a library or conference room, the walls lined with books like those in the picture above. These days, lawyers rarely crack open these dusty old volumes. We do most of our legal research online. So why keep the books?
You must admit, there is something impressive about the books. They contain thousands of cases, millions of words about legal analysis and precedent. They also make a nice background for lawyer photos. See for yourself. Google a bunch of law firms and see how many lawyer photos are posed in front of books like these.
Perhaps I am a bit nostalgic, but I still love books. Not Kindle or e-readers, but real books. I like the feel and the smell of them. I like turning pages. I remember my father reading to me. When my children were young, we spent many hours reading books. After bath-time and before bedtime, with a child on either side of me, I read to them. It started with Dr. Seuss and progressed to A Wrinkle In Time, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and of course, Harry Potter. It is amazing what reading can do to energetic children. They sat there quietly and listened. If, by chance, I nodded off while reading, one of them would gently nudge me, “Daddy, turn the page.”
Reading to your children (or grandchildren) is one of the greatest gifts you can share. They develop an appreciation for the written and spoken word. It improves their vocabulary and critical thinking. But, it is more than that. Reading to children creates a bridge. You are following the same path, exploring together. I cherish those memories. My wife and I still have those earliest books. They are family treasures.
So, yes, books still have value. They are passports to distant lands. They are the admission tickets to the greatest shows on Earth. They are introductions to strange and exciting characters. They are the keys to a connection with your children.
Read to your children when they are young. Even if you think they are too young to understand, read to them. They will hear the rhythm of the words and the rise and fall of your voice. They will understand long before you think they can. Most importantly, your children will feel the closeness of you. Give your children the gift of books and reading. I promise the gift flows in both directions.