The Sport of Reading

book heart2

I love books! Some people love football. Others love chocolate. Some people are hooked on Netflix; others can’t get enough pizza. I love books!! Clarification: I don’t literally love books. I literally love Jesus and my family, but I really, really enjoy reading books.

As an English major in college and an English teacher all of my adult life, reading has been my métier. I have always had a fondness for words and great stories.

I was a slow reader in the beginning, but the Bobbsey twins and Nancy Drew worked their magic on me as child. When my aunt came to live with us during my adolescent years, I witnessed her excitement as her “Book of the Month Club” book arrived in the mail. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and I was hooked.

Over the years I wanted to emulate other family members as they made reading a priority. My father read and studied his Bible daily, and he was a great fan of Dale Carnegie. My mother found time to enjoy the Reader’s Digest condensed books, and my sister devoured all the classics.

I also had some wonderful English teachers who shared their passion for the written word. I am grateful for family and teachers who showed me how to love books.

I treasure my collections.

My books would probably not impress Netflix star Marie Kondo, who recommends that people “tidy up” by de-cluttering their book collections. I cannot take her advice. My collections are my treasures.

I once heard James Patterson say that anyone who doesn’t enjoy reading has simply not yet found the right book. If you’re still searching for the right book, visit a local bookstore that is hosting an author event. Hearing an author read from his own work will certainly spark your interest. Parnassus Books in Nashville hosts some awesome authors.

Find an author you love, and give yourself permission to read. Go to goodreads.com and browse through the “Read Alikes Book Lists.” Give up your gaming for a fortnight, and spend that time reading.

Here are five of my 2018 “goodreads.” Check out their reviews, and read at least one. Trust me. They’re worth the read.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

Rush by Lisa Patton

While you’re setting aside more time to read this year, don’t forget to spend a little time each day with the greatest book ever written.

I think some kind of major sporting event is being televised tonight, and most of the country will be watching. I’ll be reading.

“I’m going to go to my room and read for awhile, okay? I’m fine. I really am fine: I just want to go read for a while.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Romans 15:4

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