Reading has been important to me for my entire life. I love words. I love clever sentences. I love unexpected endings to the books that I read. In the first grade at my small rural school, the teacher called my parents to say that I had read all of the books that she had to offer so she suggested that I start reading the encyclopedias at home. For younger folks who don’t know what an encyclopedia is, it is kind of like a small hard copy of Google, only it goes out of date very quickly. Ever since that time, I can’t read enough. I told my teacher that I wanted to work in a library when I grew up. As an adult, I am usually in the middle of two books at all times. I read for 30 minutes every night before I go to sleep.

I never got to work in a library but I started to volunteer as a Reading Buddy/Mentor about 7 weeks ago. I go to the school library during my lunch hour and sit with a young child to listen as he reads to me. I am in my happy place. I want to help this child develop a love of reading. Reading always took me to far away places and was an escape from extreme shyness. Neither of my children loved to read like I do until they became adults. I didn’t care what they read as long as they read. Now both of them are big readers.

I am a regular visitor to the website GoodReads. You enter the books that you are reading and you can see what your friends are also reading. You get suggestions of books emailed to you and keep up with new books from your favorite authors. I had a friend to email me once and ask, “Are you okay? I am concerned.” I told her that I was fine and asked why. She said she noticed that I was not reading my usual type of books that I seem to be reading trashy romance novels in the past month. That was not my norm. I had to laugh as I wrote her back that I had been struggling lately and needed to read mindless junk as a way of escaping but I would be fine. That was a good friend to notice.

I have no idea if my reading buddy is getting anything out of our meetings but I hope he can see how I love the books that he picks to read. He especially loves books that have animals in them. I have again learned to enjoy the silly rhyming books with their wacky stories of nonsense. Being back in the library is a good thing for me.

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