In our house, we read books. My husband piles them like stalactites beside our bed. I stash one in my bag as I run out the door. Little e sits, making concentration noises and turns pages.
A few years ago, in the interests of making space, I needed to reduce the number of books I had. I decided that I would only keep what I could unreservedly recommend. No more “Well, you can borrow it, it's a good book but I didn't like...”
I'd love to share a list of books I can't live without. The list would go on and on as I remember "just one more". For fear of writing a school book report, if the house were on fire and I had to grab a book for each of us, here's what I'd save.
For Him – The Things They Carried
For me – The English Patient
For Little e – The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Things They Carried was the first book the my dearest recommended to me that I actually read. Not wanting to sound like a dust cover, but it really is a poignant depiction of a young generation finding themselves in another's war. (For years I confused Poignant and pungent, understandable really, but couldn't work out why the diary of Ann Frank was supposed to stink).
The English Patient was my Herodotus. I would clutch it throughout university and consult it whenever I was love lorn. No situation was ever as bad as being alone in the cave of swimmers waiting for help. This book might be a bit hard to find in the rush of a fire, however, as my dearest has packed it up somewhere that I can't locate.
The Hungry Caterpillar won't be hard to find at all. Little e has two copies now – one board book for reading herself and a “Two Person Book” paperback for bedtime stories.
You can't start them on good books too young as far as I'm concerned.
Note: I have heard that there is fabric that goes with this book and I would snap it up in an instant were I able to find it here. I'm watching Lily Boot's sampler with interest too.