Joan Dorsey
Guest columnist
I know I am preaching to the choir here. If you are reading this, you are a reader. You obviously read newspapers and stories and such on line or off.
I remember wanting to read when I was little. My oldest sister would read to me. My brother and other sister were there to help out with words I came across later that I couldn’t pronounce. My first recollections were wanting to read the words on cartoons. BOOM! TNT! Dynamite! Acme! Reading was power. My sister June would take me with her to the Johnson County Bookmobile, when it came to town. Before we had the library, when I was little, there was the bookmobile. It was a bus like vehicle. Emptied out on the inside of seats, but full of shelves of books. Between the front and the back exit was a wonderland. I cherished those books and could hardly wait for my sister to take me down to return books and pick out new ones.
School gave me access to yet another library, and wonder of wonders, Scholastic Book Club. This magical paper allowed you to buy books. I would look over the lists and the titles and want way more than my Mom and Dad could afford. But they valued reading and I almost always got one or two books. I still have a few of these in a box of my elementary school treasures.
Bookmobile gave way to the library and a library card. I still have my red and white plastic card hidden safely away in a drawer. Every summer the library had reading contests. When you finished the program you got a certificate with your name on it. The librarians didn’t think I was reading the books, just checking them out and returning them a day or two later. I am not one to borrow or buy a book and leave it unread. All the books in my home library whether a gift or purchased by me have been read.
I remember working with a lady who had a son who loved books. She told us about all the books he had, shelf after shelf lining his living room. When I asked what he liked to read best I was informed, “oh he doesn’t read them, he just owns them.” Wow, what a pity.
I read for entertainment, I read for information and I read for the joy of reading. When I was younger I read books on how to care for animals. I read books on plants. I read books on horses. One summer I read the entire mystery section of the library. Some were good some were just so- so.
This past year I have read the Outlander series. I am on her final book in the series now. They are mostly historical fiction. Anytime Stephen King has a new novel, I read it immediately. If I don’t want to spend the money, I borrow it from our library. I read “Room” a couple of months ago and just read “The Martian” by Andy Weir. Both were very good. I don’t read bodice rippers and I am not much on sci- fi.
I have two children, one is an avid reader, like his Mom. The other, a casual reader, with very good taste in books. I hope they never outgrow their love of reading.
If there are small children, or any age children in your family consider taking them to a library or discount book store this holiday season. You can’t ever have too many books. Encourage something that can be done while waiting in line, without electricity, or electric gadgets. Teach them to entertain themselves, quietly. More than anything else just read, read, read.