As a child I LOVED reading. I was taught to read early and by the time I was 6 years old I finished the 1st graders book "Azbooka". I still remember that story on the last page of Azbooka about Lenin and the girl. The story seemed to be soooo long and was without a picture, after reading it I used to feel so "grown-up". I also remember text about forest and the fox. I hated that story because it was hard for me to distinguish the words "fox" and "forests" since they sounded and looked similar in Russian language.
Although we never had an official home library in our house there was a shelf that my mom kept all the books. I used to climb on the chair to get those books and would read anything readable on my way; be it newspaper, magazine, culinary/recipe book, my dad's documents, instruction manuals, everything.
We had (and still have) big house with big vegetable garden. There was always lots of work that would not leave me enough time for reading. Anyhow I tried to find the ways to read books: i read at night, in the bathroom, while working in the backyard or in the vegetable garden... I would tuck the book in my pants ( I always wore dress over the pants so it wasn't very obvious that there was a hidden book) and would head to the place where i was supposed to sweep or clean. I would do the part of the work and then slowly take out my book and read it while being on tenterhooks for I was afraid my mom would spot me. :) She could never understand why it takes me so long to do the work. Well, I thought that she couldn't.
Actually my mom knew my secret life with books. She knew that I loved reading and felt guilty for not being able to let me read as much as I want in more comfortable place. Me and my brother where her only helpers in that big house. Sometimes she would see me reading instead of working but would pretend as if she hasn't seen anything.
One day my mom saw me reading the book "Two Dianas" by Alexander Dyuma and said to stop reading that book as it was not appropriate for my age. I was 11-12 years old then. Since then i never had a chance to finish it.
My extreme surprise and confusion from books came when I learnt that books could contain description of intimate relations, such as kissing, etc or swearwords. Growing up my parents never exposed us to such things; we were taught that kissing, hugging, holding hands with opposite sex was unacceptable coarse behavior. That is why it was hard for me to understand how books known to be the most noble thing could contain such texts and words.
Now as parent myself I see that the parents have great responsibility in providing their children with literature that will not destroy their childly innocence and will not contradict religious and family values. Books that are read in childhood are easily memorized and may even remain in ones memory for the whole life. They are good educators and may play vital role in forming fundamental understanding of the life. InshaAllaah, I hope that my children will not grow believing in "Golden Fish" from the well-known Russian tale The Fisherman and the Fish rather they will grow believing in their Creator-Allaah All-Mighty and Majestic and will ask HIM to give whatever they want or dream of. By that I do not mean to completely abondon reading those tales, I just want to make sure that the primary source of knowledge my kids will be getting from the books that are based on TRUTH.