As I arranged books on my bookshelf recently a memory took hold in 
my mind. A memory that touched my heart as well.

It was an ordinary enough day. At least for a while. The day in my 
memory that is. My husband, our five year old son, and I had gone 
to see a movie at a theater in the mall. Approaching the ticket counter 
we were told the movie we wanted to see was sold out. Impulsively 
we decided to purchase tickets for the next showing. Soon reality 
began to sink in. We found ourselves discussing how we would 
entertain our rambunctious little son. The one who sometimes had a 
rather short attention span.

Luckily we passed a bookstore as we considered our dilemma. Perhaps 
looking at books would keep him entertained at least for a little while. 
Entering the bookstore our little guy quickly spotted the children’s 
section all the way at the back of the store. Ignoring his parents 
completely Josh selected a book about trucks, laid down on the floor 
on his tummy, gazed at the cover for some time, and opened to the first page.

On each page he became engrossed by the pictures. He’d talk to 
himself about things he was interested in. He was totally engaged in 
the book and his reading of it. He didn’t need his parents at all. Josh 
used what he knew about books and reading. He had learned this 
while sitting on our laps as we read to him at home. In the bookstore 
he was taking total responsibility for the reading.

As with many good children’s books the pictures were rich in 
conveying the meaning of the book. His mind was captured and 
satisfied with what he found in the book. Eventually he returned 
that book to where he had found it. He repeated his process of 
reading as he selected yet another book. A book he was familiar 
with from our lap readings. “The Little Red Caboose.” The pictures 
and his memory led him through the story. 

We listened with fascination to his lively reading of the story.He continued to read books until it was time to leave for the movie. 
Nearly two hours had passed! During the time I did sit on the floor for 
a bit of time and coaxed him into letting me read a few of them to him. 
But, honestly I think in this magical world of books he could have been 
content reading his selected books to himself the whole time.

Looking back I have no memory of the movie we saw that day. All I 
see is my little boy on the floor surrounded by wonderful books 
reading with delight.”