My sister, Lisa, and I share some reading time.So many books, so little time.
I saw someone with that slogan emblazoned on their sweatshirt several years ago. It could be my theme song. You know the old TV show, Cheers? In the theme song, Cheers is a place "where everyone knows your name." I don't have any bars that fit that description, but the Hutchinson Public Library checkout desk personnel definitely know my name. I usually have books "on hold" there.
If I were independently wealthy, I might buy my favorite authors' books the minute they are published. But, alas, since I am not, I am a frequent flyer at my library.
These days, I'm not usually at the library on Sundays. But back in 1979 and 1980, I was there almost every Sunday afternoon. I was a reporter at The Hutchinson News back then, and I lived by myself in a one-bedroom apartment on 7th Street, just a couple blocks south of the library at 9th and Main.
Sundays were my loneliest day of the week. I missed going to church with my family and having Sunday dinner together. Though I got involved with a Sunday School class, sang in the choir and became part of the church family at Hutchinson's First United Methodist Church, Sunday afternoon stretched out in front of me. Most weeks, I'd head off to the library after lunch.
|(me and Lisa in November 1959. Lisa always says I taught her to read. She was a year behind me in school, but she sat right beside me as I learned to read. By the time she was in first grade, she was an old pro.)|
On Sunday, I read an article in The Wichita Eagle, encouraging parents to read at least 1,000 books to their child by the time he or she is ready for kindergarten. Ironically, I had a dozen children's books in the backseat of the car at the time! I'd spent the past week babysitting Kinley and Brooke. It's become my custom to stop at the Hutchinson Public Library and select books from their extensive children's department. I usually settle on 12, since it's easy to remember how many need to go back into my plastic library sack at the end of our time together.
|July 2016: Brooke reading "Count On It," the rhyming farm counting book I wrote and illustrated for Kinley & her.|
|Brooke reading to her baby: July 2016|
|Kinley in August 2014, reading Go, Dog, Go! to me. It was also a favorite of her Mommy's.|
I carried on the reading and library tradition with Jill & Brent. Randy & I read to them long before they could actually comprehend the words. We visited both the Stafford and Hutchinson libraries and carted home armfuls of books. Both of them still love reading today.
If you're an adult looking for a reading challenge, Eagle reporter one book a month from a list of 12 categories, including a favorite book from childhood, a memoir, a book by a Kansas author or one set in Kansas, and a book with a blue cover.
As I was putting yet another book on hold on the Hutchinson Public Library's site, I clicked on a link that listed their 10 most popular books for checkout during 2016. Five of the top ten were children’s picture books, and another three were children's fiction books, making 7 of the top 10 children's literature. Even in this world of Kindles and tablets, people are still finding it valuable to nestle a child on a lap and open traditional books. That is good news indeed!