Saturday, April 01, 2006

Books your parents want you to read

Every year, from the time I was eight until the time I was thirteen, I received a copy of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities from my father for Christmas. I still haven't read it, despite a great love for Dickens' other novels (especially Hard Times and Great Expectations).

I had (and have) a great relationship and a lot of respect for my dad, so choosing not to read A Tale of Two Cities repeatedly was not an act of rebellion. But what was it? I can tell you, though, that history repeats itself.

My daughter has received multiple copies of Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels, and Robinson Crusoe from her own, much-loved father. She will not read them. Ever. This is despite the fact that her father is my daughter's favorite person in the world.

What is this phenomenon, wise readers? Should we never suggest reading material to our children?