I come from a family of readers. We all read in a different sort of way. MY DAD is always reading a book, whether on an e-reader or the actual thing. The people at the library know him by name. MY MOM read more slowly, she would read a few pages at night and fall asleep. Sometimes though, when a book was really good, she would sit and read until it was finished. THE DIVA reads a lot, too. If she is in the middle of a book she loves, you can cancel your plans because she will not leave her favorite spot on the couch until the book is done.
Generally, I read a lot. I have always read before falling asleep since I was a kid and read every babysitter’s Club book, skipping the parts that were repeated explaining the club’s founding. I generally scan the headlines at least everyday. I also get magazines and read those, though as you know I’m almost always behind on THE NEW YORKER. Now I have a kindle and the iPad I got but never wanted. There is never something to read very far away from me. (This also, of course, bodes well for me being a rabbi since my office is filled with books and I can always learn something new by reading).
For the past three weeks I haven’t been able to read. Sure, I’ve tried. I just can’t concentrate very well. This isn’t a surprise of course. I think I’m not reading because concentrating is really hard. Last night I read a little bit of a NEW YORKER from the pile. Hopefully reading will come back soon.
That got me to think, reading is an important gift, and Chanukah is a time to give the gift of reading, literally.
I thought long and hard of organizations that help give the gift of reading. I don’t have a particular favorite (if you want one, I can give you the name privately). Instead I think we should all give ourselves a present. Go to the local public library (remember those?) and get a library card (remember to bring a piece of mail with you or something that has your address on it)! It is now possible, even with some e-readers, to download books from the local library so there is literally no reason not to use this amazing system that is always available.
And speaking of books, Google announced today that they have a new ebook library. The video is highly entertaining. Since I have the above mentioned devices, I could think of nothing better in the world (especially the possibility of supporting independent booksellers). Very sadly for me, google ebooks aren’t available in Canada. This makes me so sad. I guess I will just have to stock up when I’m in the USA.