Happy New Year!
Here’s hoping you’re looking forward to the next 12 months of 2022.
I know I am. But not for the usual reasons. Like a new birth, job, wedding or anniversary.
For me, it’s about…new textbooks!
YES siree…I geek on textbooks!
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve looked to books for companionship.
Growing up alone despite being from a large family, books were my constant. I may have had not one, not two, but four siblings, they were unfortunately way older than me. So while I was still playing with my Playmobil toy sets, my brothers and sisters were already in high school or the workforce as full-fledged adults.
Who’s got the time for a little kid brother who, for all intents and purposes, might have been born more as an afterthought; or worse, an accident!
Or maybe just to prove that well into his 50s, my dad could still…errr hum…ya know…
Anyway, the point is I was a bookworm from the word “Go!”
But while that’s hardly a surprise, since book lovers are still a pretty in-thing even in today’s digital age, there probably aren’t as many who dig textbooks like yours truly!
Yep, that’s right.
I am a bonafide textbook geek!
Textbooks to me, like flowers to bees
As far back as primary school, I recall getting really excited when each December, my fingers made contact with the fresh covers and pages of brand new textbooks that were to be my companions for a whole new school year ahead.
I would pick up each textbook excitedly, look enthralled at its pristine cover like a starstruck lover staring into the face of his beloved. Then, I would slowly flick through the pages one by one, careful not to crease any.
As I do, I take copious deep breaths like a hungry boy smelling freshly-baked chocolate cookies, soaking in that new book smell that makes bookworms like me simply swoon with heady ecstasy.
I know it sounds completely weird but I don’t care. Textbooks are my secret love. They make me happy in ways often indescribable.
And it’s not just for their appearance and how they assault my senses with joy and delight.
It’s also about the promise they hold within.
The promise that each page will deliver fresh and new knowledge (packaged these days in technicolour brilliance and textual bombast-icy, packed with URLs and QR codes for added info).
The promise that each was carefully written by folks who not only knew its subject matter intimately, but who were imparting these intimate secrets with insignificant little me. Not to mention all my new classmates in the new school year.
So yah, for all those promises, I gravitate to textbooks like bees to flowers.
Even now, when those textbooks are no longer mine but my sons’!
History. Geography. Literature… Bring ’em!
After the intense “mugging” and slaving over revision worksheets and dog-eared text books prior, he’s now ready to leave his happy childhood of six years in primary school. To what we hope will be equally happy years in secondary and post secondary schools, starting Tuesday.
Which is really great…for me!
You see, I’ve been privately geeking out at the prospect of helping him buy and pick up new textbooks. Unlike the past six years though, he’s not just getting the annual textbook fixes of the Fab Four — English, Mother Tongue, Math and Science.
This time he’s getting double that! Yesss! (Sorry son if you’re reading this and rolling your eyes…but like I said before, I don’t care!)
For secondary school here means not only do students continue with the Fab Four, they will also be taking on new subjects. In his case, these include History, Geography, Literature, as well as Food and Consumer Education in Term 1 plus Design and Technology in Term 2.
Read that last line again. Do you see it? Do you see the multiverse of textbooks that are about to pass through my eager fingers?
My new year journey is really…
Still with me?
I take it as a sign you understand this weird “pursuit of happy-ness” of mine. Or are at least mildly amused enough to read on.
In my defence, this isn’t some sick fetish.
It’s about the simple pleasure and gratefulness of knowing my sons and I have the privilege of easy access to books and learning; something that can’t be said for everyone.
It’s also about how I’m getting closer to that point in a parent’s journey where my kid is finally inching towards adulthood. We get to interact more and more on topics and issues of a global nature, giving us more conversational verbiage.
In short, plugging into this fascinating world we live in. Together. Father and son. (For some reason that Will Smith movie came to mind when I was writing this section, hence above poster).
It’s also about us intersecting over two of my favourite subjects of all time — History and Literature.
So excuse me once more as I shout out: YESSS!!
Definitely fodder for more posts in this new year.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.
Meantime, here’s to 2022…may this new year be a better year for all!