"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reading is alive and well

It’s not that I’m a particularly cynical person, but occasionally my faith in humankind is renewed in an “epiphany” sort of way. Once again this has happened and caused me to feel better about the future of society. Ready for the startling news? People still like to read! Yes, I have learned that people still like to read and it has made me sleep much better in this techno/iPod/Kindle/e-book world..
Media websites would have us think that printed materials are on the way out of existence. To hear them tell it, in the near future all newspapers, books, magazines, textbooks, etc. will be obtained through the internet or other electronic means. As a writer, journalist, and lover of books this is most distressing news to hear. To me, nothing is better than holding a newspaper in my hands where I can tear out articles or other items of interest to my heart’s content. I can also fold the paper in all manner of ways to work a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or a word jumble while lounging in the recliner. To make it even better is to have that nice cup of coffee ready while reading the paper. I feel even stronger about a printed book. I just get all giddy when I have a free evening (or ecstatic if it is a weekend) and can curl up in the sunroom, on the deck, at a mountain cabin, or at the beach with a good book.
Now, that I’ve laid out my thoughts, here’s where my epiphany begins. I recently started to work as a part-time Library Assistant at the Cochran Library in Stockbridge. Library work is something I did before my retirement at Georgia State University; however the more community-based library has proven far different and much more exciting than the University setting. I see small children coming in by the droves with glee to get their first library card and to check out their “own” books. Parents come to the various events at all the Henry County libraries with their children as they learn to do yoga, make smoothies, view movies and have book discussions. Adults of all generations are coming in to grab the latest novels and to check out many of the old classics. Educational DVD’s fly through the circulation desk as people learn to speak other languages, yoga and other wellness programs, as well as touring foreign countries. The shelves full of audio books stay in constant use as patrons are listening to their favorite authors as they travel, commute to work, clean house, or just sit back and listen as the books come to life in the spoken word.
The Henry County Library System is an abundant source of printed materials and a place where you can also use computers or bring your own laptop to access the Wi-Fi network. They are no longer the dark and dreary buildings of musty books and scary librarians, but are now well lit, colorful facilities with comfortable chairs, current newspapers and magazines, plus friendly staff members who can help you with any questions you might have.
Yes, my faith is renewed to see that hundreds of people are daily using the Cochran Library as well as all the libraries in our county. Go check one of the branches out today and find a good book to read.

The gospel according to Jimmy? Go read a good book. There's plenty of great Christian fiction and non-fiction out there. I can certainly give you suggestions as well as a lot of my blogger friends.


At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Hw hight said...

As a remedial Reading teacher in a SE Ga middle school, I support reading as a fun activity which enriches our days! Get involved and start now, if you don't have a book to read ~


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