A couple of summers ago I had my first ever session with a spiritual counselor. Yes, while arguably a fancy label for a psychic, she did provide me with some information that has given me cause to think. Of particular curiosity is that I am only destined to have five close friends. At the time she told me this, I had (and still have) three very close friends; people who have seen me through some of the best and worst times of my life and whose friendship I’ve never taken for granted. Hence, I naturally assumed three of those five spots had already been claimed – but what of the remaining two?
One day I randomly shared this vision with a co-worker to which she immediately commented, “Books and your dog are the other two.” Never had I ever considered this to be a possibility – but her words, and reasoning, certainly fit the mold.
Anyone who knows me or reads this blog would not give a second thought to the fact that my dog is the centre of my world – and rightfully deserves a spot in the top five. However, it is also true that books have always been a huge part of my life. I hold very poignant memories of reading as a child. From using recess as a literary break to creating a reading nook under our Ping-Pong table, I was the kid who LOVED Read-a-thons and anxiously waited for D.E.A.R. time (Drop Everything and Read) at the end of the school day. Long before the stranglehold of adult responsibilities (aka employment) took centre stage I would bask in the wonder that was a summer afternoon spent wondering aimlessly at our local library. And, as it turns out from writing this blog, I now take great enjoyment from doing book reviews – both on this site and on my GoodReads page.
I guess then it really isn’t a surprise that books are my main mates. The pages within not only contain an endless array of information but also provide hours of entertainment. People have always been surprised at what I ferocious reader I am but I attest that if you really love something you’ll always find time for it.
Lately, however, I’ve been struggling to find ways in which to share my love of reading with others. Working in both public and academic libraries, I have seen first hand the impact living in a text-to-text world has had on the intimacy book reading once generated. I’ve tried putting together book clubs, both in person and online. Each had great interest at the beginning but quickly tailored off by the third book. I routinely donate money to local literacy-based causes and every year I contribute piles of books to used book sales in order to fund reading-related projects. Yet, despite all this, I don’t feel as if I’m doing enough. After a week of soul searching and spiritual anchoring, I grasped that I want to uncover a way to branch out the “reading bug” even further, but am lost for ideas. How does one compete with the bells and whistles of video games and online cat memes? Is there hope for the future of the written word? Will people soon forget the connection one feels while holding the cherished words of a great mind?
If you anyone out there has any ideas of what little ole me can do to reignite a love of reading in my community, not just in young people but in people of all ages, I’d love to hear your suggestions or stories. Please feel free to leave a comment or two.
Let’s bring back D.E.A.R. time together.
Erica 🙂 (aka a proud and committed book hoarder)
And if you are interested in joining one of my online book clubs, you can access them here:
Recreating Simplicity Book Club*
The Scholarly Sloth*
*(Note: you do need a GoodReads account to do so, but it’s SUPER worth it to get one!)