Last night my 11 year old wandered aimlessly into the kitchen after his bath, with his nose quite literally buried in his new book. I sort of looked at him sideways, and he caught me looking, blushed and confessed that the smell of a new book is his favourite smell in the world.
Well, I darned near self-combusted with pride, love and nostalgia right there and then. M is a mini me when I was that age in so very many ways - not so into the whole sports thing, completely absorbed in fantasy worlds, magic and make-believe, an avid reader, keen budding chef and yes, he even adores 80's music classics, thanks to the TV show Glee.
This is what he was buried in last night - The Necromancer,by Michael Scott, 4th in a series he's enjoyed reading over and over so far!
It's probably entirely selfish, but it's so wonderful seeing your own child share so many of the same special interests and delights that you enjoyed as a kid. Even now we still like reading the same books, and have both read the Harry Potter series from start to finish at least 10 times.
The keen interest in reading has also had huge academic benefits as well. His teachers have assured me for a few years now that he has by far the most extensive vocabulary in his class, as well as quite a talent for writing stories.
I think it's such a shame that reading has lost the appeal for kids that it used to have. I completely understand why, with the whole WWW up for grabs with the click of a button, and books being made into movies almost before they're actually published. I still mourne the fact that so many kids (and adults) are totally missing out on the excitement of opening a new book to its crispy and delicious-smelling first page, putting your feet up and letting the story and your imagination simply take you away.
I'm so glad M gets it.