I consider myself very lucky because I am often surrounded by folks who are readers. Over the years, close friends and relatives have shared books, borrowed books, and made book recommendations. My friend, Ann, kept me in a steady supply of books for years. In true friendship, when I moved a distance away, she would ship boxes of books to me with a note inside that simply read “Distractions.” Those boxes of books helped me through many long days and nights while I tried to balance being a professor and a single parent. Trips to a bigger city library in Albany, Georgia with my friend Lisa and her daughter, Miriam, helped my daughter Ali and myself adjust to living in our new small town. We would come home with a car full of books after we spent many hours looking at books and talking about books. The memory of two little blond girls with their heads in books is still vivid in my mind. Books continue to be a part of conversations with friends, such as a talk I recently had with my friend Jan. She started off our talk with “What good books have you read lately?”
Of all my friends who love books, I have to single out my friend Deb. I encourage everyone to read her blog, bookconscious.com. Deb has forgotten more about books than I will ever know. She is a librarian and reviewer of books. In a recent posting, Deb lamented how her current life situations have prevented her from finishing books, and how at last she has given herself permission to not finish every book she touches (On not finishing books by Deb Baker). So, now I am also lucky to know someone who loves reading but who also understands the struggle to want to read it all but knows she just cannot do so. I have left a few books unfinished, so I know how difficult it is to either give up on a book or to just let it go.
I have recently moved to the town of my childhood and to a new job. My first order of business in my relocation was to get my library card. Going to the Public County Library helped me feel comfortable and connected. My new job helped me widen my circle of friends who are book lovers, and gave us a place to begin our conversations and acquaintance. Brief book discussions with Ann, Karen, Ken, Brian, and Chris eased me into a new workplace because we had the love of reading as a starting point. I consider myself lucky to have a job where my main concern is to encourage students to read. At our community college we will soon begin our Common Read project and our Three Book Challenge project. My luck continues because I had to read books and book reviews to make this year’s selections. My encounters with so many readers and their books over the years play in the back of my mind as I try to find just ‘the right book at the right time” for our students. I hope we are all lucky enough to be surrounded by readers.