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The Gift of Reading

The Gift of Reading


I was one of those kids who went through childhood with my nose stuck in a book as my Grandma Holland used to say. I never understood why other kids would say they were bored and didn’t have anything to do.  To me, reading was an easy fix.  Pick up a book, and you could go just about anywhere in the few moments it took to turn to page one.

I credit my mother for igniting my love for books.  She read to my sister, my brother and me before bed every night, and we actually looked forward to bedtime because of it.

I remember what it felt like to discover the library at Callaway Elementary and the buffet of books available for me to check out:  Beverly Cleary(I loved Ramona and Henry Huggins!) and Laura Ingalls Wilder(Little House on the Prairie and On the Banks of Plum Creek).

Mrs. Milliron, the librarian there, seemed like one of the luckiest people in the world to me simply because she was the guardian of all those wonderful books lining the shelves.  And she loved sharing them.

It’s true that we didn’t have as many choices where entertainment is concerned when I was growing up.  But even with all the choices we have today, in my mind the story can never be replaced.

Reading has its own inherent magic.  And those of us who love it don’t care whether the book itself is a ratty paperback from the library or a Kindle digital version on an Ipad.  It’s the story we’re after, words strung together in such a way that we’re transported to another place, living for a while as other people who are experiencing something we might never have known had we not chosen to open that cover or click on that page.

In a sense, every book is its own little mini-vacation.  A getaway that can take place right in the middle of an ordinary day.  The gift of reading is a gift we all deserve.

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I love books! From my earliest memories, I loved being read to and then reading practically every book in my elementary school library. There’s something about taking a little trip into a wonderful story that is its own unique pleasure. Over the years, my favorite authors have provided me with glimpses into worlds I would never have known had I not picked up their books. From Beverley Cleary to Lavyrle Spencer to Jodi Piccoult to Anita Shreve and so many others, I am grateful they chose to become storytellers. A great story has the power to move, change and shape its readers. To me, that’s an honorable calling and a task I aspire to.

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