From a kid-at-heart adult bookworm to the younger bookworms

I pledge to read the printed word.

Ever since I was six or seven years old, I have this passion for words. I’d rather curl up with a good book, than, say, shop in the mall, or play a sport. Ever since I was a kid, I have always preferred reading more than anything else.

So I think, at twenty-one, I have a pretty good authority to tell you the appropriate book to read at your age, if you’re a kid.

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Books are very accessible, and book sales and bookstores and libraries are everywhere (except, of course when you live in my province), so parents must be careful what to buy their kids.

For instance, my parents know of this fourth-grader who loved books so much and wanted to be in the same league as her high school-aged sisters, where reading is concerned.

So, she read Nicholas Sparks.

Okay, don’t get me wrong, I loved reading Nicholas Sparks as a teenager. But his books are not appropriate for fourth graders, considering that there are sexual contents, and to be honest, they are in many ways, depressing.

Sidney Sheldon was an awesome writer, and I devoured his books like there was no tomorrow, but they shouldn’t be read by middle school kids, because well, they are pretty violent.

I mean, parents can still be in control of what are put in the minds of their kids. I read Nicholas Sparks when I was eleven, and on hindsight, I should have read his books a bit later.

My dad did not allow me to read Sidney Sheldon until I was thirteen, and looking back, I should have read it later, maybe when I turned fifteen. My sister sneaked with Sheldon when she was like, ten or eleven, and she’s pretty twisted in her own way.

I’m just saying. There are dozens of appropriate books for kids and young adults. They are categorized that way. Books are not called romances and adult novels for nothing, you know.

If you have toddlers, get them Dr. Seuss. For kids, get them those Dork Diaries, Wimpy Kids, what-else-have-you from the kids and early readers section in the bookstore. For pre-teens and new teens, get them Percy Jackson and start them with Austen, or books from the Young Adult section. For mid-teens, they can start with the romances, as long as their books are the tamer ones. Then when your kid turns sixteen, he/she can read whatever he/she wants. Kids with books in their childhood will be intent on their own tastes by then.

Because my parents aren’t bookworms, I had to scavenge for books myself when I was a kid. I raided my aunts’ bookshelves, spent afternoons in book sales or bookstores, traded and borrowed books from friends.

I loved my childhood with the printed word, but I won’t lie: I needed guidance.

So please, please, please.

Be responsible. In reading, among other things.

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