Today I went to the library. I love books so the library has a special place in my life. I have had a library card since I was six years old. I would be very sad if there was not a library close to where I live. In fact, one of the things I look for if I am going to move is how close the library is to where I will be living. I don’t think I would move to a place if the library was too far away.
To me books are magical and libraries are places to find the magic. I love the feel of a book in my hands. I like the feel and sound of the pages turning. I like all the different type faces and fonts and the different kinds and colors of paper. I read all the pages, the acknowledgements and thank you’s, the page that tells you what other books the author has written, the blurbs about the book, even the page the publisher puts in with all the legal stuff.
There are people who do not have library cards. There are people who haven’t been to a library since high school, and some since before then, if ever. There are people who never read and they are fine with it; they don’t like to read. That amazes and saddens me.
Books are not just for education, although, I don’t think I have ever read a book I didn’t learn something from. It’s true that sometimes all I learn is that I didn’t like the book. If I read another book by that author and don’t like it I pretty much stay away from that writer’s books. That’s worth knowing. There are so many wonderful books and authors I know I like, and so many new authors, why waste time on what you know you don’t enjoy.
Maybe those that don’t like to read never read anything but text books or books assigned and never found what speaks to them in books. Maybe they were never encouraged to read just for pleasure, without pressure to remember every sentence and nuance, without the sense that if they “didn’t get it” they failed. Those that don’t like to read don’t know how to go somewhere without leaving their chair. They don’t know how to get lost in their imaginations. I am sad for them.
I remember the first big word I learned. It was in first grade and the word was umbrella–eight letters long!
I remember my third grade teacher. In the afternoon after recess she would turn the classroom lights off and we would put our heads on our desks and she would read. She was a great reader! She made the words magical. She made me want to have that magic for my own. What a gift she gave me.
Maybe those people who don’t like to read and don’t have library cards don’t believe in magic. But if they don’t read how can they know about the magic? More importantly why were they never given the gift of the magic? Or was thy gift offered and they refused it? Now I really am sad or maybe mad.
I am thankful today that my teacher gave me the gift of loving books. I am thankful that my daddy, every week until I was old enough to go by myself, took me to the library. I am thankful that both my parents were readers and didn’t have the TV on all the time.