Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 2 (Books and Libraries)

I just returned from helping to set up the local public library's annual book sale. I am fatigued and musty but reminded of how very grateful I am for books and libraries.

library bookshelves

My children and I are all voracious readers, and it is one of the special things we share with one another. Although they are each reading more advanced books, the three of us still crack up regularly at Elephant & Piggy's hijinx. We always have one audiobook in the car; right now it is the second in The Mysterious Benedict Society series. My daughter is delving into Beverly Cleary's Ramona books on her own, while we are slowly working together through my childhood copies of The Little House series. I can't begin to keep up with what my son reads. Graphic novels are big with him right now, and he just completed The Mark of Athena, the fourth in Rick Riordan's series sequel to the Percy Jackson books. I read all five of the first series upon my son's recommendation, so I suppose I'd better get started on this one.

The problem is that my to-read pile/shelf/list is beginning to get overwhelming. Book club just keeps picking new ones, and the library keeps calling me in to pick up those I requested. I bought four more books for myself while sorting today. It's a sickness. I can't stop. As addictions go, I'd say this is a pretty good one.

Books allow us to learn, to escape, to reflect. Libraries make them accessible to everyone. I can't imagine if we had to purchase every book that we read at our house (although we do that too), as I think we collectively have about forty checked out of the library right now and are at the library at least once a week. But we are fortunate--we can buy books. Many people cannot. Nothing breaks my heart more than statistics about children without access to books. To me, books rank pretty highly after food, clothing, and shelter. It also doesn't hurt that they keep my children quiet and entertained for extended periods of time, and they provide me a little quiet time to think about something other than my to-do list.

Speaking of that, I think I'll wrap up this post and see if I can get twenty minutes of reading in before school pick-up and the weekend begins. I'm reading about vampires and witches, and it's a good one.

What are you reading these days?


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