KCWC Verse for 2010 is Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous is
like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light
of day” (NIV).
Most of us haven’t taken a
reading class since, oh—fourth grade. Maybe it’s time we hit the books
again and discover new ways to enjoy reading. This new column will
cover everything from getting more from your library, to setting up a
church library, to digging deeper at book club, or setting up your own
“bagel, coffee, and book hour” with a friend. And we’ll give you
pointers as you seek more, whether you’re reading for pure pleasure or
The love of story leads us all
to devote time from our busy schedules to visit a new world, a new
time, a new way of life. Because time is precious, it makes sense to
maximize our reading experiences as much as possible.
I’ll start with my own reading
Fearful of teaching me wrong, my
mother waited for me to attend school to learn to read, even though she
was a voracious reader, eager for me to develop the same love of books
she had. This Chatty Kathy loved every form of communications since my
first spoken word, and the written word was no different. I took to it
like gravy goes with biscuits. Remember those Weekly Reader
magazines (oh, the delicious smell of the ink and paper!)? And the SRA
Reading Lab inspired me to read not just for speed, but for
retention—thanks to those specialized tests. It was my goal to make it
through each level before the appointed time, and I still like to beat
I received my first public
library card as soon as I started school, and Mom walked us kids to the
library several times a month to pick up books. Yes, it seemed like it
was two miles uphill both ways, but it was worth it! Our little town of
four thousand was blessed with a Carnegie library (built in 1905) full
of well-loved books. Mom taught me how to follow my favorite authors,
and I read every title they’d ever written. I knew how to thumb through
a card catalog and recite the Dewey decimal system as well as I could
spell my own name. By the time I outgrew the children’s section, I had
read every book and graduated to the “grown-up” shelves.
I’ve grown up even more. My
love affair for words inspired me to start my own communications firm,
so I get to fiddle with words all day long. We shine the light on
others who shine the Light, by promoting their
books and their messages. We string together words we’ve written,
edited, proposed, sung, spoken, coached, pitched, and more! Words
thrill me. Story entices me—draws me in—beckons to me.
Most avid readers have been
caught saying their idea of a time-out from stress and life involves
curling up with a good book—claw-foot tub or blazing fireplace
optional. Some readers
quite as gung ho to dig in to their “to
be read” piles. They want to like to read, but they
aren’t quite there yet.
column will equip both kinds of readers to dig deeper.
And my first tip is this: Don’t
waste time on a mediocre book. When reading for recreation, remember
that you aren’t in school anymore. You aren’t being graded for reading
every word. So if a book doesn’t appeal to you, put it down! Grab a
different one. We have only so much time in life—definitely not enough
time to get bogged down with a boring or confusing story line.
Just because a book earned rave
reviews doesn’t mean it’s the right book for you, any more than size 7
shoes will fit size 10 feet!
Come back each month to learn a
different aspect of getting more out of reading. Then, feel free to
print out the resources from this column to share with your reader
friends, librarians, and book club leaders.
You are welcome to e-mail me
with your ideas, questions, or comments for this new column.
Think about your own reading tale. What was it like when you learned to
read? What turned you on to books? Do you recall the favorite authors
of your early years? Who inspired you to read more? Did reading lists
and contests in school motivate you to try harder? What challenges you
today in your reading? We all have a story—even a reading