I believe in reading. That’s no secret, huh?
Books, newspapers, circulars, catalogues. Signs, maps, instructions, manuals. The world of reading, the access it creates -it’s unsurpassable. If I had to name one activity, one interest, that has aided me in developing into the successful, striving, curious, critical, and loving person I am today? Reading, hands down, number one.
Reading gets the trophy.
So when I read an article in my new favorite thoughtful-living magazine, Taproot, where a father considers the potential ramifications of his non-reading seven-year-old son, I felt horrified. It wasn’t that the author neglected his obligations as a parent, or even that the child would lag behind his peers in education or access. To me, reading is a sense, and here was this family, blissfully bypassing the opportunity for one of its members to partake.
For me, not-reading seemed, perhaps a little over-dramatically, a world without words. ‘Til my partner sagely stepped in and put the brakes on my rant. He informed me that some people hold by the philosophy that learning to read fixes the way people think. That it sets worn paths for the mind to follow. I wanted to shout, I love those paths! Sign me up for the tour to poetry, to fantasy, to romance and philosophy and cooking!
But when I thought a little about how I experience the world though movement, relating, soundless or soundfilled watching and connecting. And then I thought, hmmm …
The story goes: when I learned to read.
But that tale isn’t complete because, for a lot of us, learning to read doesn’t end in identifying as a “reader.”
Instead, we might say: oh, I wish I read more.
Or: Too bad I don’t have more time/there aren’t more hours in a day/if I were on permanent vacation, then I’d become a reader! Yeah. When I retire.
Or: I only read non-fiction/newspapers/magazines.
Apparently, if we can’t gobble twelve novels in a fortnight, we aren’t truly readers. I guess we’re dabblers? We’re book hobbyists, who are admittedly less than devoted to our hobby. With the television and training for a marathon and practicing with the band and cooking seven nights a week for the kids, putting in extra hours at work, we never reach the Reading Ideal.
Which is what?
The story goes: sometimes it doesn’t matter how you fill your time. When reading gets you, it has you. You pick up one book. You pick up another. Soon, you’ve read so many, they’re melding together in your mind.
A good friend of mine once grabbed a stack of books he found in a parking lot. One seemed interesting, so he read it. Which of course led to reading another. Another. You see . . . reading got him.
A co-worker’s husband devoted himself to one non-fiction account of local color and then reading got him. He descended into a frenzy. Anything he could get his hands on. Book after book. He hasn’t stopped yet.
The story goes: reading might eventually let you go. Who knows when it’ll pick you up again. Don’t prepare. If it happens, then it does. Go with it.
Search for one summer pleasure, find another. When excursions down straight, long, Southern Maine roads did not turn up the farm stand we sought, friends stopped for a brief respite at this tiny red gem perched at a crossroads.
The road ahead says rain . . .
Zadoc Long Free Library, Buckfield
These shelves are stocked with history.
August into September was a whirlwind. Whew! As my summer sabbatical drew to a close, the September crush of work and life distracted me from reflecting and celebrating here on Whole Heart Local, which I so enjoy doing.
So, a few things:
One important milestone that has passed, but should be mentioned, is that Whole Heart Local’s 1 Year Anniversary was September 15th
This fall, continuing my effort to complete my novel, I anticipate decreasing my blog posts to one per week
Also, stay tuned for a few new Librarytours
This blog is important to me, both as a place to wonder and create beauty and as a professional representation of my writing. I don’t expect to desert it, despite my record for sudden silences. So, my friends, please forgive my most recent lapse.
Onward and upward!