Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Read, Then Read Some More

"Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere"
Mary Schmich

I don't know who Mary Schmich is but I do love her quote! Where else can you take yourself away from everyday without leaving your favorite reading spot? Where else can you go places you think about, hope to go to or dream about except in a book? Fiction, fantasy, science fiction, romance or non-fiction, whatever your feelings you can find them in a book.

I have been enjoying a classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I love the way the author makes me feel a part of Brooklyn in the early 1900's; you find yourself lost in the Nolan family and how they live their lives. The poverty they endure without complaining. Being so poor that they go to bed hungry. They weren't any different then their neighbors, all of them lived the same way. Making it to the end of grade school is a big deal, but when the children turn fourteen they must go out to work. Imagine being happy to bring home a quarter a week.

Funny, reading this book and listening to the news about what is happening with our economy makes me realize how much some of us take for granted. The bright spot in Francie Nolan's week is going to the library and getting a book to read. She vowed to read a book a day, she realized that reading was knowledge and she wants to know it all. The way Francie loses herself in the books she reads and the joy it brings her is a wonder. Sometimes it is forgotten how much you can take from a book, the joy it can bring and the wonder. What I have gotten from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is that there is always hope; hope that things will get better; hope that the future will be what you wish for; and that there is joy is every day when you look for it.

I have just finished this book and I am so glad I read it. I can't believe I waited so long! I found myself, as I realized that I was right there, observing the life of hte Nolans and feeling what Francie was feeling. That is what a terrific book can do...take you into it and make you feel part of it.

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