All-Clean Softwash! - August 2019



How I Became a Reader It Only Takes One Book

didn’t turn me into a high-volume reader overnight, but it did light a fire that’s never gone out since.

As I grew older, the amount of time I spent with a book in my hand increased. One of the big catalysts was meeting my husband, Tim. He’s a huge sci-fi fan who knows all the authors and keeps up with all the series. He introduced me to the genre, and I was hooked. I could go on all day listing authors and titles I love, but if I had to pick one, it would be Hugh Howey. He’s amazing. Google him! His “Silo” series is as good as it gets. Last year, reports indicated that the AMC network was developing a TV series based on the first novel, “Wool.” Who knows if and when it will come to fruition, but my fingers are certainly crossed. Growing up in a house of readers, our daughter, Justine, took to books naturally. She wants to be a writer after college, and I think that’s so awesome. To be able to sit down and build an imaginary world is something I’ve always found incomprehensible. Whether they set their stories in a reality that resembles our own or some far-flung version of the future, authors have an incredible, inventive power. And even if Justine ends up finding a different path for herself, I’m sure her love of reading will serve her well for life. Reading is so many things: a chance to slow down in a chaotic world, a way to enjoy solitary leisure time, an opportunity to learn about empathy and see the world from perspectives other than your own, and so much more. No matter what you read or what purpose you read for, I hope you get the chance to sit down with a good book once in a while.

When you think back to your childhood summers, what memories come to mind? Great weather? Swimming? No homework? I guess that last point isn’t technically true. We may have been free from the shackles of nightly assignments, both useful exercises and rote busywork, but there was always summer reading. At the time, I probably regarded summer reading as a mild nuisance. Today, I’d kill for a summer reading list. In fact, reading for pleasure is something I do regardless of the season. This year’s been a busy one, so I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like, but I normally devour books pretty quickly. It wasn’t always that way. As a child, I wanted to be a better reader than I was. My comprehension skills and reading speed were just fine, but I just lacked the ability to sit down and read for more than a few minutes. Even when I was young, though, there were flashes of the bookworm I’d later become. I can still remember the night I first fell in love with reading. I was in fourth grade, and we’d been assigned a book about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. I picked up the book intending to read a chapter or two, but I didn’t stop until I was finished. It was like an analog version of a binge-watch. As long as there was another page, I was going to turn it. That experience

Here’s to summer reading at any age.

–Jennifer Ricca


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