My son and I have much in common – from our introvert temperament to love for reading and writing. Last summer during a long Covid19 lockdown in India, which was labelled by some media houses as one of the toughest, my son asked me about blogging. I explained it was an online journal, diary, or a place to share thoughts and stories and engage with like-minded followers.
I told him I used to blog and can set up a blog for him. That is how I restarted blogging in an all-new blog space, which is this, and he got a brand new blog – www.blackpenstrokes.wordpress.com. What I find endearing is that he still writes his “private journal” by hand. Though, I know it’s more to do with his love for stationery; again something he has acquired from me!
Since, my son had been maintaining a personal journal, blogging came more naturally to him. He was excited about sharing ideas, writing stories, and was soon more worried about the followers count. I started looking for ways to publicize his blog and found the brilliant writers and bloggers community on Twitter. If there were any positives during the pandemic, I always see the connectivity I developed with my son, and the talents we mutually nurtured. These are now forever memories chiseled in stone, from a year that has been harsh on everyone.
During this time, I also encouraged him to read more. Needless to say the young mind is as much tormented and influenced by myriad entertainment channels as any adult. It took me some efforts to create a reading schedule for him. He understands that reading is not everyone’s hobby but a great one to inculcate.
He wears power glasses so some books did not work for him, example, I bought him a collection of the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton but the small font was strenuous. I got out an old Kindle 6 reader and we experimented reading on it but he didn’t find it engaging. He, in fact, when on to blog about his experience.
So, we were back to buying books – some hard cover, some paperback. However, some times certain books are not to his liking and I am still navigating around the genres he likes. He had been reading Geronimo Stilton and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid so the transition to more serious fiction and longer books demands adjustments. These days we are discovering fairy tales and legends from around the world. We are also reading abridged classics and a bit of Shakespeare.
When I notice him struggling with a book, I tell him not to worry about it and start a new one. To give him due credit he says – If I pick up a book, I need to finish it. Books and genres grow on you so may be he is finding what holds his attention. I still need to prod him a bit and control the online hours but when he reads, he totally dives into it. He loves to use his pocket dictionary, alongside.
The task for me is well-laid out. Build his little library, share books that he outgrows, introduce him to some of the best works out there, and make space in my home for more and more books for him to indulge in. This also means I have to buy lesser physical books for myself. In return, I get to read new works for children and young adults, and rediscover ones from my childhood. It is an exhilarating exercise.
I will try to share about these books on my blog and on my Twitter account @felinemusings. Let’s build a world of little bloggers and book lovers, one word, one book at a time.