My friend Jo said something that stayed with me. She, a great reader, said, that lately she’d been feeling lonely, but is oh so grateful for such an inner life.
Books give you that.
They keep you company wherever you happen to be. Whether you’re lost in a novel, in Paris with Hemingway, on the edge of your seat with Stephen King or loading a musket at Gettysburg, you’re never lonely when you have a book within reach.
Now we have Kindles and iPads weightless in our bags giving us no excuse not to read when given the time and privilege.
Imagine countries where there are no books amid masses of illiterate people who’ve never even seen one. We take our literacy for granted like many built-in graces we’re so accustomed to.
One of my favorite pastimes is to go to the children’s floor at my library to watch those little readers peruse their very own stacks.
Babar, Winnie the Pooh, Stuart Little, Cat in the Hat, Ferdinand the Bull, along with Olivia, Madeleine and Eloise come tumbling down, blanketing the floor with their first hardcover pals launching a habit that will benefit them their entire lives.
Remember reading Where The Wild Things Are for the first time… Cinderella, Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast?
Boredom just doesn’t exist when there’s a story in progress.
When you’re in a long line, on the train, even stuck in traffic, a book in your lap or on tape will surely take one’s impatience away.
Like John Adams told his young son John Quincy,
“You’ll never be alone with a poet in your pocket.”