But if you need an excuse to read a book, this is it: Today is National Book Lover’s Day!
Still—it seems to me—every day should be considered National Book Lover’s Day. Books are the best gifts and the best friends in the world. They open doors to adventure, people and ideas. They build bridges and create communities. Books inspire awe and wonder, outrage and determination, insight and understanding. They teach lessons, build awareness, spark imagination, and present possibilities. They can awaken readers to love and prejudice, commitment and injustice, degradation and renewal—and the courage to make a difference.
One of the best things about being retired is I can spend so many hours reading, without the worry of having to attend an early meeting after a sleepless night, just because I could not stop turning pages! I always have books going, usually one at a time, but sometimes with several open wherever I sit and relax. One of the best things about owning a kindle is that I can bring a decent library with me wherever I go. Getting stuck in traffic as lanes are cleared of an accident’s aftermath or waiting much too long for the doctor to get back from an emergency is not so bad, if I can read.
My fall back for fun reading is a good murder mystery. If a dog or animal is part of the plot, even better. I do have favorite authors who I wish would publish new books more often: Tony Hillerman and now his daughter Anne Hillerman, Barbara Kingsolver, and Alexander McCall Smith come to mind. A favorite I have only recently discovered is Stan Jones, who brings life in small town Alaska to life.
Just recently I finished a novel by a cousin—it is so cool to know actual authors! His novel turns the fear and hatred from current headlines into a war novel about a terrorist invasion in America in 2016. I posted my review of his book—Robert Owens’ America’s Trojan War—on Amazon, if you want to take a look. Yesterday, I reread The Little Prince to be filled again with the love and hope that comes from being tamed as well as the appreciation of flowers and foxes and little travelers that only someone who never truly grows up can understand. Several books ae coming up next on my to-read list: Joyce Carol Oates’ In Rough Country: Essays and Reviews; Louise Erdrich’s The Game of Silence; Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools, and Carl Safina’s Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.
Whenever someone asks me for reading suggestions, I mention my favorites. But, of course, no one can go wrong with the classics from Shakespeare to Angelou, Faulker to Morrison. And there is not much better than Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find. More recent authors you might like are J.K. Rowlings for her Harry Potter series, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, or any title by Sherman Alexie. For kids, anything by Dr. Seuss is always fun as are Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth and Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Even Graeme Base’s picture book Animalia is a great place to start. The title does not really matter. If it captures your fancy, it is worth the effort.
The point is to read!
Personally, I would love to hear what you have been reading, so I can add more titles to my neverending list of books-to-read-next. There’s another fun book, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.
SOME QUOTES ABOUT THE LOVE OF READING
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Dr. Seuss always offers good advice:
“To be allowed, no, invited into the private lives of strangers, and to share their joys and fears, was a chance to exchange the Southern bitter wormwood for a cup of mead with Beowulf or a hot cup of tea and milk with Oliver Twist.” Maya Angelou
“Oh, how scary and wonderful it is that words can change our lives simply by being next to each other.” Kamand Kojouri
“Free time is a terrible thing to waste. Read a book.” E. A. Bucchianeri
“With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one—but no one at all—can tell you what to read and when and how.” Doris Lessing
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” Anna Quindlen
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.” Ernest Hemingway
“She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” Annie Dillard
“The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it.” Dylan Thomas
“Some women have a weakness for shoes. I can go barefoot if necessary. I have a weakness for books.” Oprah Winfrey
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” Dr. Seuss
“If you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairytales. If you want your child to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales.” Albert Einstein
“You will be transformed by what you read.” Deepak Chopra
“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.” Marcel Proust
“We shouldn’t teach great books. We should teach a love of reading.” B. F. Skinner
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” C. S. Lewis
“This is part of the beauty of literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” Lemony Snicket
“From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot in front of the other. But when books are opened, you discover you have wings.” Helen Hayes
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Confucious
“There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” Jacqueline Kennedy
“I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” J. K. Rowling
“Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.” Kathleen Norris
“To learn to read is to light a fire.” Victor Hugo
“The book to read is not one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.” Harper Lee
“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” Garrison Keillor
“All I have learned, I learned from books.” Abraham Lincoln
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Cicero
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Mark Twain
Some last words from Dr. Seuss: