Thankful for reading!

Off the shelf

Have you ever read a book or book series that you absolutely cannot get enough of? I sure have! I have read books like the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, once a year since I read them for the first time when I was younger. I read Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol every Christmas. Books like this opened up a whole new world for me, and they were the first “fandoms” that I became a part of. I was as excited as a kid on Christmas as the movies for these books came out. These books influenced me, gave me hope and courage, taught me about life, and gave me something to discuss with all my friends and family who also loved these books.

Every time I read these books now, it feels like I’m going home. I can remember where I was the first time that I read them, and how they made me feel. I have now begun to follow authors on social media, blogs, and journals, and I sometimes even get to meet them at conferences or book talks.

It’s amazing that one person can write something that it will be around forever. Books like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – published in 1868, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – published in 1843 and plays and poems by Shakespeare – who wrote in the 1600’s – are STILL popular to this day – it’s like history so close you can touch it!

Through reading, I have made reader friends that are still my friends to this day. Whether I met them when I was younger, in college, or by working in libraries; we are now book buddies for life. I have been a part of book clubs that have felt like family where we literally just talk about books, what they mean, and how they make us feel. Reading about other people’s lives and experiences can influence us to make changes in our own. I know that if I’m ever stuck in life, all I have to do it pick up a good book, and I’ll eventually find my way.

There is a quote that says “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once” by George R.R. Martin that perfectly describes the fact that books take you places and teach you about different cultures, time periods, or other people’s life experiences; books let you experience anything you wish to. Without books, I wouldn’t have learned so much about British history and now aspire to visit London someday. Without books, I would never have gone to Wartburg to study English, and never would have gotten my dream job as a librarian.

So please encourage your kids to read, and read yourself! It’s an amazing thing to be passionate about and can open up so many doors. Look at me, a book lover turned English major turned Librarian – and I couldn’t be happier! I am very thankful for books. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!