Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 21, 2014

Read a book

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

— No secret here, I was one of those odd children who would rather stay in her room reading books than play outside.

Fortunately, little Nancy (the madre) limited our television watching, and video games included nothing but Pong on Atari at that time, so once you were done with your alloted 30 minutes of television viewing for the day, you were on your own.

I recall how once per week, every summer, my mother would drop off my sister and me at the public library on her way to the grocery store. Guess she figured she would purchase fewer items and not have to brave the constant barrage of “Mom, can I have...?” by doing this.

But truly, she was doing me a favor.

I would check out a stack of 10 books or more (thick ones, mind you) and be seated on the bench in the library foyer when she returned with a car load of groceries. Most times, we were already started on the first book (having stacked them in order of intent to read).

I have that summer habit to thank for my extensive vocabulary.

I believe I have read every single Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins, and Cherry Aames, Nurse book in each series. (The Nancy Drews I’ve read multiple times. She is so cool.) Sometimes I’d find an author with a new, lesser known series, and proceed to blow through every book by that author too.

That love of reading has carried over into adulthood. I know not everyone is a born bookworm. One of my very own children does not like to read (I know, the horror). Though I don’t seem to read nearly as much now as I once did (I blame it on too much reading at work), I still love to hold a book in my hand, and become absorbed in a novel, or allow a story to carry me away to a distant locale for a time.

I know folks are reading on these new-fangled Kindles or Nooks or whatever, and my husband mentioned getting me one. But I guess I just feel like if we all give up on books in their original form, much like newspapers, one day we’ll wake up and there won’t be anymore.

Books have the ability to teach us, expand our minds, or make you feel like you’ve been on vacation when you’ve not even left your couch. The book I’m currently reading, “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank Peretti, is so absorbing I have trouble getting much done around the house.

Why, just this morning Janet Jacobs came to work and felt compelled to explain that she started a book last night and it was so gripping, she didn’t stop until she finished it at 2 a.m. (knowing the next day was a work day) and it was also so moving she bawled for about three hours.

Now, there’s some power.

Some of the most important things I’ve learned in my life were in books. Some of the deepest emotions elicited in my soul were stirred by books.

Please do everything you can to encourage your children (and grandchildren!) to read.

And maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll write a book of my very own.

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Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached by email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” on this column? Email soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com.