Time spent with a good book

Published 11:52 pm Friday, January 14, 2011

I’ve always been a reader. From the age of 3, when my mother handed me a copy of Hooked On Phonics, to now, I’ve sought entertainment and solace in the world of the printed word.

But, I have a confession to make. It’s been about 3 months since I’ve read an entire book. While that doesn’t seem like much to some, to me it’s harsh blow to my self image, which is largely composed of me with my nose stuck in a book.

But I’m not alone. As a society, we’ve got better things to do than to “waste” our time reading.


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We’ve got hundreds of television channels to surf. We’ve got a seemingly unlimited supply of websites to peruse at our leisure. Those months-old recorded episodes of The Office and cute YouTube videos of kittens won’t watch themselves!

But there’s something cold and almost heartless about those mediums.

And even though it’s been months, I’m still a stickler for a good old novel printed on old-fashioned paper. And I have my parents to thank for this passion.

Whenever I travel with my dad, we somehow always find a used bookstore filled with printed treasures. When I was younger, my mother, sister and I made a weekly trip to our local public library.

In fact, I’m not embarrassed to say that the smell of musty, slightly mildewed pages never fails to soothe what worries I might be carrying with me.

So it’s sad to me to think that there are kids out there who not only don’t want to read, but really don’t know how to read.

Not being a parent, I’m in no position to lecture about child rearing. But I am grateful to my own parents for encouraging my love of reading.

And my favorite memories with my 7-year-old niece involve reading, from introducing her to my own childhood standbys, like Dr. Seuss and Where the Wild Things Are, to having her read her favorites to me.

You don’t have to be a parent or family member of a young child to help encourage a love of reading.

The local library has many programs that encourage children to read, including various story times. By supporting the library, you can support these programs. One group makes it easy to give back.

The Friends of the Suffolk Public Library, a group that helps support the library, holds a monthly book sale to raise money for the library. The next sale is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 4 and 5 at Pruden Hardware, 332 Carolina Road. The group also seeks volunteers to help with the sale and with its other programs.

Reading is by no means a cure-all for the problems facing our society.

But being lost in a book is definitely better than being lost to those problems.