As a kid, I carried a book with me everywhere. Mostly they were the children’s chapter books that had a painting framed by a thick band of color on the cover. In church, I sat and read through the sermons. In high school, I consumed Dracula in the minutes between classes and those moments when teachers brought things to order. I devoured books, ate them like gummy worms in a dark movie theater.

Books have been my teachers, my friends, my refuge, my inspiration. They have been the places of escape when my husband left and my guides through the ongoing grief over Mom’s death. They have been tear-bringers (I sobbed audibly when Lyra and Pantalaimon where separated) and the spaces where the laughter in my chest is released (think David Sedaris’s Stadium Pal experience.) Books have taught me that life goes on, even after and in the midst of the most excruciating pain. They have shown me what deep love looks like, and they have helped me understand the whys behind people’s choices.
'Tascherl - Exchange bag' photo (c) 2007, Ruth - license:
So last night, when the fun that is StumbleUpon took me to “Date a Girl That Reads”, I smiled one of those big goofy smiles. I am that girl with an unread book in my purse (in fact, I bought my purse just so that it would fit a trade paperback). I do understand (but don’t love) why people lie, and I am absolutely the easiest person to buy gifts for – books will always thrill me. I saw myself in that post . . . well, to be more precise, I saw the woman I used to be and the woman I want to be again.

I’ve lost track of reading a bit, it seems. The Internet is to blame, a bit, but so is lack of habit. I don’t carry a book everywhere with me anymore (even though I have the purse), and I don’t squeeze in reading in the moments when the coffee is brewing or I’m waiting for an image to load. I’m just out of practice.

But this little blog, this little reminder of what reading has made me has brought me back, I hope. I will be, again, a girl who reads.

What about you? Are you a girl who reads or a boy who reads? Why? Why not?

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