Here’s a confession for you: I used to never read for pleasure. Sure, I love books. I would buy them, but never read them. I had to read loads in college, but I would only read a book or two a year for pleasure (if that many). I have never read the classics that are usually required reading in high school: To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, The Grapes of Wrath, A Tale of Two Cities, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
After working at The Literacy Center for six months, I had an epiphany. Or maybe it was an overwhelming feeling of guilt. Either way, I knew that I took reading for granted.
As many as 18,000 adults in Vanderburgh County alone don’t read well enough to read and understand a newspaper. That’s about 1 in 5 adults. That number is huge. That number is so huge, it’s sickening to think about. And I didn’t read by choice.
After I realized how ridiculous it was for me to take my reading skills for granted, I decided to do the EVPL Summer Reading Program. In the summer of 2013 I read five novels. That may not seem like many, but bear in mind that I had been averaging less than one book a year for my entire life! I was so proud of myself for reading so many books.
The next year, I decided that I would read seven books. I had seven read by Mother’s Day 2014. I ended up reading a total of 28 books in 2014!
In 2015, I’ll admit that I’m not doing so well. We took the Netflix plunge in our house, so I keep getting distracted by House of Cards. As good as Kevin Spacey is, I’m not okay with this. But I’m hopeful for the near future.
You see, I got a hammock for Mother’s Day. Those of you who know me well, know that being outside in any capacity (as long as it’s at least 60 degrees!) is one of my favorite things. The best day off would include lounging in the hammock with my Nook. I have quite the “To Read” list on Goodreads.
Starting today, and continuing until it’s too cold to be outside, you can catch me reading in my backyard. I challenge all of you to do the same. Dedicate just 30 minutes a day, or even 30 minutes a week (I get it- being an adult is busy), to escape the harsh realities of adulthood and get caught reading. Don’t waste this precious skill.