Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Crate of Treasures...A Found Friend

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books. Upon my arrival at my previous job, my coworkers quickly learned that I was a reader. During slow periods, they observed me devour books whether for study or pleasure. Always seeking to procure books for Cultivating You, I announced to everyone that I'd be more than happy to relieve them of any of their unwanted books. One of my fellow coworkers had begun replacing his paperbacks with electronic copies. A day earlier than promised, Kyle brought me a crate filled with books. As I walked in the door before the start of my shift, my co-workers bombarded me with requests to borrow a book. Dumbfounded I responded, "what books?"

After surveying my newest acquisitions, I allowed everyone to go through them. Jenny picked out two science fiction novels, Samantha grabbed Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, while Allen selected The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Both Samantha and Allen surprised me when they chose a book. Samantha, a nonreader in her early twenties, stated during a conversation that a book must capture and keep her attention in order for her to read it. Other than reaching for my copy of Nightshade on an extremely slow night at work, I had never seen Samantha with a book nor mention ever one. However, the following night, she related that a section in Chicken Soup discussing "letting go" really helped her.

Although Allen is also a nonreader, he is a freshman majoring in Secondary History Education. Spotting his favorite book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, he quickly snatched it from the pile. I'm always encouraging nonreaders I encounter to read especially Allen, since he desires to teach. Yet each time he rebuffed my efforts. At the sight of Allen reading, joy washed over me. Not wanting to forget this moment, I snapped a picture of him engrossed in the pages. Unintentionally leaving the book at work, Allen decided to order himself a copy rather than wait five days to be reunited with a borrowed book. The following week Jenny thanked me for the paperbacks saying, "I read and read and read until my bathwater grew cold."

Ah, the joys of reading. Despite their different backgrounds, each of these individuals share past reading experiences, many of which may have been wonderful, terrible, or both. Somewhere along the way, the readers became nonreaders or possibly had never been introduced to the phenomenal world of reading. Jenny, Samantha, and Allen each found in that crate of books exactly what they needed at that time. They touched my heart in ways they cannot imagine. Wow, it's a beautiful thing...living, doing, and being in my purpose of passing on the written word.

*Names changed to protect privacy

4 comments:

  1. wow, the written word has always been an amazing adventure for me!!

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    1. I agree reading is an adventure. It will take you to places unimaginable. Thanks for your comment.

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  2. That's very interesting. I think you won them over because you didn't pressure them. You gave them choices and they found one that applied to their liking. I'm like "Samantha", I need a book that going to hold my attention. Todays' youth have so many different options to entertain them. Reading list today and even when i grew up are very selective and consist of cult classics my parents read. Thus lacking the spirit to read as you get older. Which makes it hard for those like yourself to pass on the pleasures of reading. As the saying goes " Knowledge is power and enthusiasm pulls the switch".

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    1. Within the last few weeks, two posts on the Nerdy Book Club Blog put forth the importance of student choice on summer reading lists. Thank you for reading.

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