OBIORAHFIELDS.COM | 404-994-6218 | APRIL 2020
FINDING JOY IN READING
CELEBRATE READING THIS APRIL
Reading books has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was really little, I remember my dad taking me and my sister to the library one time. I don’t know if it was the first time I had ever been in a library, but it’s the first time I can recall. I must have checked out 10 different children’s books, and I voraciously tore through them all. Unfortunately, that visit to the library was also the last time we went for a while, and I never got a chance to return the books. The first week of April is National Library Week, and other holidays and observances, like National Children’s Book Day or National Great Poetry Reading Day, make April the perfect month to celebrate all things related to books and reading. When I was little, I had all sorts of favorite books. I read picture books from the “Richard Scarry’s” series, the “Berenstain Bears” books, and the “Frog and Toad” chapter books. I also remember having a lot of books based on Disney movies, so while I definitely didn’t see every Disney movie that came out, I’ll bet I read all the books based on the movies! Since my childhood, I haven’t always been the most consistent reader. I’ve always enjoyed it, though. Recently, I’ve tried to make reading for recreation and relaxation more of a priority by reading at least one book per month.
While I enjoy reading, I don’t want to have my nose stuck in a book all the time. I also want to prioritize being with other people, but I can do that while also making time to read. My favorite kinds of books to read lately have been biographies. I read the biographies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and John Adams. Reading through all their biographies within a relatively short time span kind of burned me out because their stories are all pretty interrelated, but I still found their lives fascinating. I also read the biographies of Steve Jobs and Princess Diana. I love reading about true events. The old cliché “fact is stranger than fiction” rings pretty true for me. At the same time, I’ve found that reading about famous figures throughout history demystifies their lives. They cease to be caricatures or symbols, and they become real people. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, two of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States, were people with physical ailments and financial problems, who argued and feuded with each other and several other Founding Fathers. They were human. Whether I’m reading nonfiction or fiction, though, stories transport me. If the main character is calm and relaxed, I’m calm and relaxed. If they’re
in a stressful situation, I’m stressed. If they’re in Paris, I feel like I’m in Paris. Someone once told me that nobody reads the same book, and you never read the same book twice. Each person’s experience with the same book can be completely different, and reading a book through a second time might reveal a completely different story than the first read through. Books have the ability to speak to us right where we are. All we have to do is be willing to listen.
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