I’ve always loved to read. I feel like it takes us on a journey in our imaginations where we can meet new friends, have adventures, and explore the world (or even history) just like we were really there. We decide what the scene looks like, who the characters resemble, we paint the picture – using the writer’s words. When I was a little girl I would hide and read for hours, just soaking in the humor and wisdom of what being a little girl meant from Judy Blume, laughing at Super Fudge!, and exploring with Wishbone, the babysitter’s club, and the Hardy Boys. I loved being able to “choose my own adventure” in some stories, and being able to conquer bad guys, slay dragons, be a princess, and save the day! As I’ve gotten older, most things have changed, but my love for literature has only grown. I love reading. I still love to hide in my favorite chair or snuggle on the sofa and absorb the words (though now I usually don’t have to have a flashlight because I no longer have a bedtime, and because technology has given me the kindle with a lovely built in back-light). I see the words come to life in my mind, and watch them dance across the page (or screen) to form this beautiful story.
My latest read was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It’s Death’s perspective about World War II and a little German girl and the lives that intertwine with hers. It’s a beautiful story, with such deeply moving, heartbreaking, and inspirational twists and dives into the story. I could barely put it down, except to take a moment, take a breath, dab my eyes, and be grateful that I wasn’t a part of the world when that was happening in it. While the book is fictional, stories like it did take place… and that breaks my heart. There are times where I watch the news now and I’m shocked by the audacity of the cruelty that happens. It shakes me to the core to think that so much wrong happens and there’s really very little that I can do about it, other than use my small piece of the world to create love, peace, and pass on joy and kindness. Reading the book, I couldn’t help but stop and wonder how a whole world watched and didn’t do something… and then I think that smaller versions of this evil still happen in other countries, to other people who are being killed, raped, beaten down, and made to feel inferior just because of their religion, or region, even their sex. I know that part of the beauty of the world and the people in it is that every thing is up to us, “Free Will” I just wish that collectively, we made better and kinder choices. Anyway, the book is a beautiful story and I highly recommend it, the age recommendations are for 12+ but if you’re soft spirited and easily upset, go into it knowing that at some point you will be angry about what you’re reading, feel helpless, and probably cry… but this shouldn’t stop you from reading it. For me, reading it and feeling the empathy for the characters is my way of connecting to the story and saying “This is wrong. This shouldn’t happen, and I’m so sorry it did.” It’s okay to see the dark side of the world because I think it opens our eyes to see more than what’s just in front of us, what’s going outside beyond our backyards and helps us see the whole world as our neighbors and not just the people that live on your street. It also makes me appreciate and see all the good in the world; it’s the sweet that makes the sour endurable. So, please read the book – share it with a friend! And recommend a book to me – I’m always looking for a good read and a good chat about it 🙂