My Father's Books by Luan Starova.
At the very least, it will motivate you to make books more important in your life. Not just urging your kids to do their reading homework every night, but using books to define your own life, and letting them see that definition every day.
Here is a snippet from another favorite book of mine, a wonderful book of short stories, magical tales, originally published in the early 1900s. It's the introduction written by the author, Eleanor Farjeon, and I think of it every day when I find books EVERYWHERE in our house. In the bathroom. On the floor. On the couches. Under beds. In the room I affectionately call "The dungeon," where the bikes are stored and the dogs sleep (????). This passage from the introduction demonstrates the joyous (if messy) life of a family that loves to read.
"In the home of my childhood there was a room we called ‘The Little Bookroom’. True, every room in the house could have been called a bookroom. Our nurseries upstairs were full of books. Downstairs my father’s study was full of them. They lined the dining-room walls, and overflowed into my mother’s sitting-room, and up into the bedrooms. It would have been more natural to live without clothes than without books. As unnatural not to read as not to eat.
Of all the rooms in the house, the Little Bookroom was yielded up to books as an untended garden is left to its flowers and weeds. There was no selection or sense of order here. In dining-room, study, and nursery, there was choice and arrangement; but the Little Bookroom gathered to itself a motley crew of strays and vagabonds, outcasts from the ordered shelves below, the overflow of parcels bought wholesale by my father in the sales-rooms. Mush trash, and more treasure. Riff-raff and gentlefolk and noblemen. A lottery, a lucky dip for a child who had never been forbidden to handle anything between covers. That dusty bookroom, whose windows were never opened, through whose panes the summer sun struck a dingy shaft where gold specks dance and shimmered, opened magic casements for me through which I looked out on other worlds and times than those I lived in: worlds filled with poetry and prose and fact and fantasy...
Crammed with all sorts of reading, the narrow shelves rose halfway up the walls; their tops piled with untidy layers that almost touched the ceiling. The heaps on the floor had to be climbed over, columns of books flanked the window, toppling at a touch. You tugged at a promising binding, and left a new surge of literature underfoot; and you dropped the book that had attracted you for something that came to the surface in teh upheaval. Here, in the Little Bookroom, I learned, like Charles Lamb, to read anything that can be called a book. The dust got up my nose and made my eyes smart, as I crouched on the floor or stood propped against a bookcase, physically uncomfortable and mentally lost. I was only conscious of the story I was reading, and my heart which was in the story as well."
There's more to that wonderful introduction, but I will stop there.
Do we want our children to remember our nice, sparkly furniture or our super clean and organized shelves?
I hope my children can say many things about me when I am gone and they are old. I'm sure they will say I was not a great cook, because I am not. I am terrible. I'm sure they will say I was not the best housekeeper, because I am not. I am terrible. (Sam came downstairs as I was writing this and asked me if I've washed the mattress cover Calvin threw up on last night. "No," I said. "Do you think we have to?" And I was serious. Sam said, that, um, yes. We probably should.)
But I hope they will say, "Books were everywhere in my home. We ate, drank, and breathed books. Mom wanted us to know about the world, about good and bad, about the lives of others and the lives of incredible, imaginary people. She wanted us to expand our minds and our experiences, every, every minute. So our house was messy. But it was a Little Book-house. And, in the end, we were happy there."