It is a CHILLY morning here in Central Minnesota. I sit with my lap top and a BIG cup of hot coffee. It is days like this where the outdoors looks painfully brittle that I am glad that I do not have to travel out in it.
I will however, do just that in an hour or so when I go just a few houses down from my own to visit my Aunt and Uncle. Needless to say, our conversation will turn towards books and I LOVE that we share this desire to read. Currently she is reading The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks which was a book I devoured when I first read it. I will have to dig around before I go and see what else I can find her.
This connection over books that my Aunt and I found this summer has really made me rethink about readers and non readers. After discovering my Aunts dormant love for books… I am wondering how many others are out there… too busy in there own lives, saying they could never sit still long enough to read a book etc etc…
But what if…
What if these self proclaimed “non readers” just don’t know where to begin? In a world filled with so many titles and authors and… well without the guidance of a reader, someone who’s opinion you trust… where would you find a book that works for you? I have also been thinking about this in terms of the library. What can we do to make people fall in live with our libraries again? To see the real value of what they provide for our community…. I think it begins with a book.
My son Justin was a reader. What was interesting, was that with his college life and work and friends… he would fall away from books. And then… he would hang out with me. I would be talking about one title or another and pretty soon he was downloading it on his Kindle, or we were driving to the local book store…. and often, he would just load up right off my shelves. I loved that. In fact now, with his book shelf in our home… I glance at these gorgeous titles and I know some of them are mine that he borrowed from me…
and I can not remove them from his shelves to return to my own.
My point here (yes, there is one), is that I think there are readers in our midst…. and this is something I have been thinking frequently. How do we bring the readers out of the people?
In other news, my post about One Word has brought in a little fun discussion. I hope you read it if you have not already. I love choosing a word each year.
AND if you are participating in First Book Of The Year (and I hope you are!) start planning your picture with your book and email it to me at email@example.com . Everyone and anyone can participate, you do not need to have a blog. This is one of my favorite posts of the year and I love to see all the people and what they are reading around the world as we enter a New Year.
17 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings… The Love Of The Written Word”
I find myself “talking up” books that I am reading and am always amazed to find fellow readers among other groups of friends. Occasionally I find friends that say, “I used to read” or ” I don’t read much any more” and I always encourage them to try again. Sometimes I suggest a book that I think they might enjoy. Often I share one of mine, saying, “keep it as long as you need, no pressure to return it”.
I’ve always been a reader though there were times I didn’t just because of schedules and work and school and all that stuff. My husband didn’t become a reader until he was an adult and like you said I think it was because he didn’t know where to start. Once he found his genre and his authors he was set and my dad is the same way. Of my 4, both the girls are readers though not as much right now as they’re both in school with jobs and all the craziness that goes on in college. My older son isn’t but I think he will be when he gets older and finds his genre. Not sure about the younger but he’s only 5 so we’ll see. I think you’re right about non-readers not knowing where to start.
I always talk about books. 🙂 People know that will always be the topic when they are with me.
The non-readers listen and some even call back or e-mail and ask “what was the name of that book you were talking about the other day?” 🙂
We have to just let them absorb and make the decision on their own.
If you have never been exposed to books, I think it takes a lot to get you interested, but sometimes just a small comment can spark an interest. 🙂 Or at least I hope something small will spark an interest.
ENJOY your visit with your Aunt and Uncle.
I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t reading, and I still have such fond memories of the tiny library we visited in our village…I think it didn’t take long to read everything I wanted to devour there. Then I discovered a bigger library.
Only two of my four kids are lovers of the written word…but some of my grandchildren are book lovers.
Thanks for sharing!
I love reading and and many in my family do too. When I was teaching it was my greatest love to get children loving books and was always joyful when it did happen. Books rule!
I can’t imagine life without reading. I can’t imagine understanding ANYTHING about life without reading. I can’t imagine knowing a bit about the world and human beings without reading. Thus, I’m always shocked when I meet people who don’t read. I look at them suspiciously. To me, their world must be very small, and their reactions to/and understandings of people must be even smaller. Sad. But how do I get them to read? That I don’t know.
You have some really interesting thoughts here about nonreaders. I think we’re all kind of a reader in some way. Most of us love books. Some like graphic novels or comic books. Some read online news. Some read for work. And I agree, it’s okay Justin’s shelves are there and haven’t changed. His selection looks interesting.
Reading is fundamental–that slogan comes to mind after reading your post. Books are a special connection between people. Justin’s bookshelf is wonderful.
I hope your visit with your Aunt was terrific.
They do connect people to people! I love his shelves too…. as I mentioned some of them are books that I thought he would enjoy so they are mine but will probably forever remain on his shelf. Some look good and I hope to read them someday, my hands on the books that his hands were on.
Sheila, you are SO right about this. I’m actually someone who bloomed late with my true passion for books really blooming in my mid-30s when I became disabled and could no longer work. I loved reading when I was young, but I’ve always had many interests. Books weren’t the only thing for me and still aren’t, but it took my life becoming more flexible (not less full) and my desire to write that kicked things off again and I’ve never turned back, and if anything—regretting all the years I wish I’d allowed for more reading!
And thank you for sharing Justin’s shelves 🙂 I agree—don’t change a thing about them…
I find that when I get away from books, as I kind of have done lately…. when I pick one up again I wonder what took me so long to start reading… love sinking into a good book.
My husband of 30 years NEVER read. Never. Not even instructions to a manual.(or is that all males!) One day we went to the library together so I could pick up my books and he said he wanted to look around. He actually picked up a book that he had read in MIDDLE School and we now read books all the time together. It only took 30 years for that to happen though.
Kayo that is a great story! My husband reads blue prints and bid sheets and equipment magazines… but not books. I would love to share the gift of reading with him but he can not sit and focus on it. Maybe some day 🙂
I’ve always enjoyed reading, but didn’t give it much time with school and career. Now that I am retired I have more time. I hope I inspire others to read too.
I agree. One time my mother-in-law told me she didn’t read because she got tired of the overly descriptive writing. I told her she was reading the wrong books and made a few recommendations and she found some books she loved.
How special that you were able to have that bookish connection with your son. And I love that you’ve kept his bookshelf!
I agree. I think that there are probably a lot of people who just haven’t discovered there reading selves. I have had a love for reading my entire life, however, there have been times where I have struggled to get over one slump or another. Finding the right book is key.
I actually feel quite a bit the same way when it comes to more serious literature. I have a pretty reluctant circle of friends who read primarily YA. Many of them haven’t even had a problem with classics or literary pieces, but it’s the fear about some of the assumptions that they have.