Archive | April, 2012

The Beginning!

29 Apr

 

It’s been my hope for quite some time that I could share my musings on books and reading.  I can’t promise that I won’t occasionally dole out statistics and academic research, but my main priority is to get you thinking about reading in your own lives.  I’ll share my thoughts with you, and hopefully you’ll share your thoughts with me.

I’ve been racking my brain to come up with something suitably elegant and witty for my first ever blog post.  But, I just keep coming back to something else…the library in Romania that started this whole thing.  I’ve had a friendship with a village in Romania since 1999, and in May of 2010, I traveled there with my mom to visit friends and teach in one of the schools.  The area is rural farm land, with the most beautiful mountains you could ever find.  Like many places in the world, it is a village struggling with this economy. Villagers are losing their way of life, especially as people move out of the area or no longer farm the fields.  The school where I was fortunate to teach, where the students and teachers welcomed me with such enthusiasm, is a government school that has minimal resources.

My wonderful mom (a former librarian, and current career counselor) who journeyed with me assisted me in teaching classes.   We asked one day if we could see where they kept the books, ‘Is there a library?’  We hadn’t seen any books other than the government issued workbooks.  We were led through a classroom, and to a locked door.  It opened into a medium sized closet, which contained a few shelves of books.  All the books were written prior to 1960, they were dark and colorless, and there was nary a children’s book, despite this being an elementary school.   I know enough about the world to realize that other communities have it worse off; this school has workbooks and dedicated teachers, and is in a relatively safe community.   However, in that moment, standing in the dusty closet full of unloved books I wondered, ‘How does one learn to read without books?’ and ‘How does one learn to love books if they are locked away?’  My mom and I made eye contact, and it probably looked liked a mirror of sadness as our eyes met.  And as we walked out the door, and the teacher locked the library back up, my sad eyes began to burn with the fire of an idea that with your help will come to fruition.