I think that a big thank you is due to every teacher I have every had, from kindergarten through graduate school.  They all, in some way, fostered a spirit of the joy and adventure of reading.  There’s just something about having a book in your hand that is comforting, encouraging, challenging and knowledge forming.  It’s very common in my family to see at least 2 of us reading something at any given time.  Dad loves Westerns, one year we branched out a bit and gave him the entire Mitford series.  He’s from a small town.  Mom and Dad both loved it.  When we go shopping, Dad sits in the car or the food court and reads a book until we’re ready to go.

Mom received a Kindle for Christmas and has decided to go back to the classics.  She’s loving it, especially since Dad cheated and gave it to her several months in advance and they were sneaky and just didn’t tell us (we all gave her accessories for Christmas).  I remember the local public library doing the summer reading program.  They would have a drawing contest for a bookmark and I won one year.  I can’t imagine since my drawing skills are far from awesome.  It was a worm wearing a mortarboard coming out of an apple.  I’m sure it’s in a scrapbook somewhere.  I remember Mom suggesting books and me finding myself lost in the worlds of Romona Quimbly or a Mexico I’d never yet imagined.  She may not realize it, but I would bet my love of reading is part of the basis for my love of travel.

The last few years I’ve set a goal of how many books to read, thanks to my friend, Rachel, who has done the same.  2009 was 40 and I made 36 1/2.  2010 was 30 and I made 46.  2011 had a goal of 25 with the addition of the goal to watch 15 documentaries.  I almost have 2 on the list thus far.

I thought I was doing so well until a friend posted on FB that she read 130+ books last year. Awesome!  I’m content with my small number and am certain I will pass it but it’s fun for me to have a goal.  I’m competitive with myself and so read I shall.  I have a variety of things on my list and keep it updated as I go on FB.  I shall post it periodically here as well as on the new site another friend, Lora, suggested – http://www.goodreads.com.  I’d love to hear about your reading, any suggestions (as long as they aren’t scarey, I am a chicken) or any memories you have of reading and why you read.

I was saddened one day to hear from a coworker how he and his wife use reading as a punishment for their children and I pray that someday the whole family will see reading as a joy.

What are you reading right now?