05 January 2013

I’ve spent much of today leisurely reading. Totally in my own little world. There’s been no TV or music, and, until now, no internet. Just the sound of me turning pages (yep, I’m reading old school, not on a Kindle or Nook) and the occasional crunching of my cat eating in the kitchen before she curls back up by my side.  A little side note here: I don’t know why, but the sound of my cat eating in a distant room is always so comforting to me.

Today feels a little like the last respite before the new year’s craziness starts. I worked this week, but lots of folks seemed to still be on holiday, and I suspect Monday will feel a little like the first day of school, but with a long “to-do” list already in hand. 

So it’s felt like a luxury, a nice punctuation mark, to sit quietly and read. I’m reading “Bruce,” Peter Ames Carlin’s excellent biography about Bruce Springsteen (the only shock about this from my friends who know how much I love Springsteen will be that I hadn’t already devoured the book when it came out in the fall).

I’ve always loved reading and the feeling of escape that disappearing into a good book provides like no other. Is there anything sadder than coming to the last few pages of a book that has totally engulfed your spirit and imagination and pulled you into another world?  Sometimes when I finish a really good book, I feel like the man falling in the opening of “Mad Men”; I’m falling back to earth against my will after being transported somewhere else. 

I feel sorry for people that don’t like to read. Some of my best childhood memories are of walking to the Bookmobile with my sister. It would come once a week and park a few blocks away. It brought the world to us. Our mom drove us to the library frequently, but we could go the Bookmobile on our own, without adult supervision, and make our own choices. Then I'd spend hours in my room being a book worm, reading "Mr. Popper's Penguins," or "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" or, later, Nancy Drew mysteries.

So today, my $10 goes to Reading Is Fundamental. RIF delivers 15 million free books and literacy resources to children through schools, homeless shelters and community centers. According to the non-profit’s website, nearly two-thirds of low-income families own no books. That means no reading bedtimes stories to little kids, no reading to children during those fundamental developmental years. That's way sadder than coming to the end of a great book.

Jan. 5: Reading Is Fundamental http://www.rif.org/

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