I can’t remember a time I wasn’t a member of the #nerdybookclub. I went to kindergarten already a reader. To this day I have my whole collection of Nancy Drew books and sitting on my shelf is the first book I remember receiving as a gift from my parents (although I know there were others!). I cherish the memories of walking to the library every Sunday after church to the army base library and walking out with the maximum number of books you could check out.  And my career choice, as an English teacher and literacy specialist, was guided by my membership in this group of awesome people.

I married a math guy who thought reading was reserved for statistics problems. Today he is an active, avid member of the club. So, when we became parents, it was a no-brainer that there would be books as a part of our 4 boys’ lives.

Every night in our house is reading time. The deal since our boys were younger has been if you get in bed “on time” you can stay up 15 minutes “late” to read in bed. There have been many nights where there have been tears shed as the beloved reading time was lost because the bedtime deadline was missed. I can remember my youngest just a few months ago exclaiming “But, Mom, I NEED to read!!!!”

When the boys were young, we started a Christmas tradition . Everyone receives a book and snuggly pajamas. This past Christmas the tradition continued. Colin was elated to find an autographed copy of Chris Crutcher’s Deadline. Devin loved that his autographed ARC of Eye of the Storm was written by one of Mommy’s “Twitter friends.” Nathaniel, our cross country runner, exclaimed as he opened the biography Pre, the life story of Steve Prefontaine. Ian, our future trauma surgeon, thinks we spent a fortune on the embossed, illustrated edition of Gray’s Anatomy.

As I watched my boys’ true, unadultered joy at receiving books, I realized the gift, the legacy we are leaving them.  We may not have fancy cars or vacation homes or oodles of money to leave them, but we have endowed them with lifelong membership in the #nerdybookclub. And I can think of no better company to share with them.

Teresa Bunner is mom to four awesome boys, wife of one cool husband, teacher of many amazing students. You can find her on Twitter as @RdngTeach.