Archived Story

Reading provides best memories

Published 12:00pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some of my best memories growing up are of reading.

We didn’t have a lot to do in the small town where I grew up – no zoo, no museum, no aquarium and only a two-screen theater – but regular trips to the public library were a childhood delight.

I remember the pride I felt at having my own library card and being able to choose whatever books I wanted to take home. It began with Orla’s Upside Down Day and the Berenstain Bears and progressed through the Boxcar Children, the Saddle Club and the American Girls.

So I consider it a blessing that in my career, I regularly get the opportunity to visit two great public libraries – both Mamie’s Place as well as the Dadeville Public Library. True, I’m usually not – OK, never – there to check out books, but it still takes me back.

I will admit to surreptitiously running a hand over the Hardy Boys books and grinning involuntarily at the sight of Caddie Woodlawn and the Five Little Peppers.

I think Dadeville and Alexander City are blessed to have access to so many resources through the local libraries.

These free or low-cost services and amenities are available to anyone. I am really impressed with how involved the libraries are in our community – they offer activities for both children and adults, like book clubs, GED classes and, this time of year, trunk-or-treat and other Halloween goodies.

Being at the libraries for story-time and book signings and so forth has really shown me how little I’ve been reading lately.

In college it seemed like I only ever had time for required reading, and now it’s sometimes hard to find time amidst work, laundry, sleeping and the all-important Facebook-ing.

But I’m remedying that situation.

After all, I think it was a love of reading that engendered my love of writing. I understand that not all writers enjoy reading, but for me the two go hand in hand.

So there’s a copy of Little Women waiting in my desk drawer and a multitude of potential lunch hours of reading stretching into my future.

And I want to take just a minute to encourage you to do the same: not necessarily to read Little Women on your lunch break – but to read.

Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Hey, it’s worth a shot.

So dig up your library card and check out an old favorite or try something new.

It’s always a good time for a good book.

James is staff writer for The Outlook.