Raise your hand if you’ve ever punished your kid by taking away his book. Nothing feels weirder… “Alright, that’s it! You aren’t using your time wisely. Hand over the book.” And yet, those are the words I have spoken to our one and only Colemanator. He loves a story. He especially loves a series of stories. Movies, books, tv shows. He wants the whole collection. His room is decorated with “sets”. The boxed set of the original “Avitar the Airbender” videos sits next to the boxed set of “The Clone Wars”. His closet is stacked with boxed sets of books: Percy Jackson, Haddox, Left Behind…

I am not a bookworm. Never have been. If I admitted which boxed sets I consider page turners, you’d never read another word I write. (Hint: I’m team Edward). I don’t really know how the term “bookworm” came to describe avid readers. Worms are slow, they crawl, they aren’t anxious or exciting. What I’ve come to know about the readers I know is that they are full of imagination, they are committed to the story and the characters, they even like to read the same book more than once. And one more thing… they have zero patience. When they whisper the words “the end” to one book, the next installment better be in their grip. 

When Coleman starts a series, he gets his Dewey Decimal ducks in a row. Book one and two in his backpack, Books three and four on hold at the library, Books five and six in que for the online reading list. Unfortunately, Coleman is what we call “scattered”. As in, there is evidence of Coleman scattered around our school. Okay, our county. Well, to be more accurate, the tri-county area and a few spots in Little Rock. The weekly lost and found list typically includes: water bottle, gym bag, lots and lots and lots of pencils, homework, various parts of his football uniform, hoodie, binder, and, almost always, his book. But hey, my kid is nothing if not forward thinking – He figured out a long time ago that the answer to being forgetful isn’t to keep up with your book; the answer is to read two series at the same time! Double the Dewey Decimal lineup! There’s plenty of room in a backpack when half of its contents have been scattered across the tri-county area. And Little Rock.

The absolute torture of a series book reader is the “release” of the last installment. It’s not on a library shelf or kindle download… it hasn’t been released yet! Coleman can’t remember what the date for Christmas is, seriously – the DATE – not the day. But he knows the release date of the final book in a series he’s invested in. And there begins the frenzy… he saves up money, he watches the preview pop ups, he hovers over the online library and Amazon website, and then… THEN… the PRE-ORDER option spams my email and shopping apps. And boom – submit your order – bada bing… here’s your confirmation number and here’s the link to TRACK THE SHIPPING! What level of Hell IS THIS???

His latest boxed set arrived today.  After school he jumped in the car and said “they’re here!” (How bad is it that I almost asked, “who’s here?”). All the way home, he anticipated with ants in his pants… “I wonder if they left it on the porch or inside the door”, “I hope the dogs didn’t chew the box”, “I’m really gonna be mad at those dogs.” The boxed set was intact in the box and all is well in Readersville. Another series is coming to an end for a little freckle-faced lover of literature. Another boxed set will be stacked in the closet of collections. And tomorrow… a new one will begin. 

I’m thankful for these boxed sets. I love the adventure they provide for Coleman. I love how much value he places on having a complete set. I love the pride he has for his collections. I love that he’s read every word from the beginning of the first book to the end of the last. I love that the stories can’t be contained in chapters, but instead they fill volumes.

Are you still writing your story? Of course you are! None of us are a complete boxed set yet. We will be, our life on Earth is marked with a beginning and an end. Write your story. Tell your story. Inspire others with your story. You are loved, you are valued, you bring joy, you bring pride, you bring adventure. There are others around you who are watching and waiting for the next volume of your story. What may seem insignificant to you could be life-changing for them. Share your love and value. Share your joy and pride. Share your adventure. Share your story. Don’t restrict it to chapters. Fill volumes. Make it a boxed set. 

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

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