There are readers and then there are treasured readers. Readers just visit a book and walk away remembering little or nothing of what they’ve read. Treasured readers journey through a book celebrating the rich experience. They walk away refreshed and transformed by an encounter with the writer.
Readers have a one-night stand – a treasured reader is committed for life.
Are you a treasured reader?
Books take us on flights of fancy, set us on an express train to mystery or quiet walks down Lovers' Lane. Ever had a book take you to places of magic and international intrigue? Some books have taken me to places I didn’t want to go. Sometimes insights into our own ego can be intimidating.
Can you relate?
Honestly, I’ve faced some characters that make me stronger as I read their road to discovery. Have you navigated new horizons with characters struggling with trauma and adversity? I’ve laughed out loud with people on the page and glowed in their victory.
A treasured reader is a life-long reader.
We come from all walks of life. Librarians love us, book sellers can’t get enough of us, Barnes and Nobles depends on us and Amazon counts itself lucky.
Are you a treasured reader?
Books are words sliced, diced, marinated and arranged on burning coals of beauty. When you read do you feast at the table of imagination or just sit down in a comfortable chair in fellowship with the author.
True confession, I’m a treasured reader.
I didn’t learn how to read until I was in the 4th grade. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to learn or I had dyslexia. My only excuse was no one really cared if I learned or not – a child of twelve children learns early the responsibility of caring for others before herself. An itinerate farmer’s daughter moves from place to place based on earth’s harvest, not the school calendar. It’s easy to move into the next grade at the next school until you’re old enough to drop out.
Mrs. Fox, my 4thgrade teacher, noticed and cared. She invested in my future and taught me to read. At recess I didn’t go out with the other kids; at her desk I sat next to her and we entered new and wonderful worlds no recess could ever offer.
Reading helped me in more ways than you can imagine. I escaped the clutches of poverty, the throes of mental abuse and the misery of another mouth to feed.
Thank you, Mrs. Fox, this high school dropout got her college degree.
Reading was more than an escape, it was a ticket out of abject poverty and low self-esteem. Through reading I gained courage to change my life and, in turn, those around me.
I believe the words on Mrs. Fox’s obituary are old and faded, but the difference she made in my life will never grow dim.
Her gift was helping me become a treasured reader and now, my desire is to write words that delight, inspire, and encourage treasured readers around the world.
Use the comment section below and let's get a conversation going. I would love to hear your story. Are you a treasured reader?
A Treasured Reader
p,s. Look for more information below on a live video chat and a book recommendation too.
Live Video Chat - PBS - The Great American Read
Join them on a live video chat about the series "The Great American Read," which invites viewers to vote for their favorite novel. Vieira host the eight-part series, returning today. Best-selling thriller writer, Patterson, is on the list of 100 nominees for his popular Alex Cross mysteries.
RSVP now at vierapattersonchat.usatoday.com
Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times
“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”--O: The Oprah Magazine
“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”--USA Today
“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”--The New York Times Book Review
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.
Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.
When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.