Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Hey world.  I’m on YouTube now.



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Teenage boy reading a book in the garden, 1910...

Teenage boy reading a book in the garden, 1910-1920 (Photo credit: State Library of Queensland, Australia)

This week I spoke at a public school district Literacy Night where the theme was “Fight Evil.  Read books.”  I’ve looked at different statistics about what percentage of the people in prisons can’t read — but regardless of which statistics are correct, our society would be improved if more people could read — and would read.

I told a very small crowd about how I loved to read and how reading helped me become a better writer.

I talked about staying up at night to read.  I read so many books in high school that I sometimes hid a “decoy” book under my pillow (so my Mom could confiscate it), while I hid the current book under my mattress.  I convinced my Mom that I needed a nightlight so I was able to read in the middle of the night.   I read Gone With the Wind by nightlight.

To this day, I can’t start a good book after 10 p.m., because if I do, I will read until the wee hours of morning and not function well the next day.

I think helping a person learn to love reading is one of the best things we can do.

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Source: Amazon.com

When I was a starving law student, I often read Betty Neels Harlequins — short, sweet romances that tended to have starving British nurses as heroines.  I ate my beans with tortillas (rather than toast), but I identified with those heroines — some were feisty, some were meek, many of them were plain, a few were beautiful, but they all found love.   Those stories were very comforting to me.  Later, after I was married (and no, I didn’t find a rich Dutch doctor — Betty’s favorite hero) and my babies left me sleep deprived, I read Betty Neels again.

There is a blog called The Uncrushable Jersey Dress that beautifully explains how wonderful those sweet romances are.  The reviews and photos are hilarious.

English: Color cover of the book ', written by...

English: Color cover of the book ‘, written by and published in 1914. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a roommate at one time who wondered why I read Tarzan and silly Robert W. Chambers romances instead of depressing Russian literature in my spare time.  (I adored Chambers’ THE COMMON LAW (1911))  I didn’t know how to justify my reading habits back then, but now I do.  Life can be stressful, difficult, even tragic, and we all need moments of  something lighter, something sweeter.  Betty Neels provided that for me, and I will always be grateful that she started her writing career later in life.

What fiction do you find therapeutic?

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