Books Are Door-Shaped Portals

A while back, we gave you Kipling’s poem “If.” Well today, you have another job, to read some of Margarita Engle’s poem about books

Books are door-shaped


carrying me

across oceans

and centuries,

helping me feel

less alone.

Beautiful and so easy to forget in a time when it’s easier to pull up a YouTube video or turn on a video game. George R. R. Martin has talked about how a reader lives a thousand lives, and Stephen King once said that books are “uniquely portable magic.”

We have to give our kids access to this magic, we have to encourage them to walk through these portals. On the other side is not just thousands of potential lives, but also infinite amounts of wisdom.

It’s hard to be a kid. It’s hard to be a person. Whether your kids live in a small town or were built a bit ‘different,’ life can be lonely, frustrating, confusing, boring. Books allow us to escape the tyranny of our own experience and benefit from the experiences of others. They help us see the world before we’re able to travel, they help us visit the past that—so far—the science of time travel does not allow us to otherwise see. 

Help them feel less alone. Help them empower themselves. Inspire them to read. Pay them to read. Show them the ROI of reading. Excite them about the wonder of books. Share the books you’ve loved. Read them to sleep. Read books together. Have a family book club. 

A house without books is not a home. It’s also not a portal to anything or anywhere else.

P.S. This was originally sent on May 15, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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