Okay, admit it, who among you was called a bookworm at some point? I’ll raise my hand. When I was a kid, I even used to take a flashlight to bed so I could read under the covers. I still find myself surrounded by books, with their bookmarks at various stages of progress. So when I recently came across the children's book Humberto, the Bookworm Hamster by Mayra Calvani, my interest was piqued. After reading it, I found myself measuring my life against it.
I guess, at heart, I must still be the targeted 4-8-year-old reader. From the start, Mayra Calvani easily drew me into the tale of Humberto the hamster who loves, just loves, books. He turns down invitations from the squirrel, rabbit, and beaver because “I don’t have time. I’m too busy reading.” He reads while he eats, while he exercises on his wheel, even while he brushes his teeth. Rather than play with others, Humberto prefers to have his books transport him to a Paris café, the Egyptian pyramids or Saturn's rings. Then a storm causes disastrous flooding in his neighborhood, and Humberto’s books are about to be swept away. Tempted to focus on rescuing his books, he turns his attention instead to finding food and shelter for his friends. In the process, he learns the true meaning and joy of friendship.
As a self-admitted bookworm, I had expected to find Calvani’s book interesting. What I did not expect was that this beautifully illustrated children’s tale would apply so resoundingly to my current life, particularly my blogging life. Since I began blogging, I have been struck by how much fun it is to write for my blog and also to read other blogs. I can be carried off for hours and, in the meantime, dinner is not prepared, clothes are not washed, my dear husband has not received a hug, and friends and family have not heard from me. Humberto is a powerful reminder that we are social beings in the flesh and not just on the page.