As a child, reading was my favorite pastime, and it was common for me to spend more recesses in the library than out on the playground. In college, my reading-intensive Humanities major broadened my appreciation for good literature. But because I spent so much time reading for school, my recreational reading ceased altogether except for the summer months I spent out of school. After I graduated, marriage added a new element of reading enjoyment as my husband and I read together, each taking turns reading aloud to the other. (The only thing better than reading a good book is being able to share that experience with the person you love!) Now, as a mother of four little ones, reading is a guilty pleasure; an indulgence that I have a hard time justifying in my busy life. But a year or so ago, that started to change. A friend was encouraging me to join her book club, and in our conversations I had a revelation. I need to read -- not only for my sake, but for my family's sake as well. I inherited my love of books from parents who patronized the library almost as often as the grocery store (and with a large family that's saying something!), but how did I expect to pass that love on to my children if I didn't continue the tradition myself?
I did join my friend's book club. It's been a wonderful way to branch out beyond things I would have picked for myself. And as I learned in college, a good book discussion increases that book's potency. As a character expressed in a recent read, the magic of a book club is that "in hearing so many opinions about the same book, your own opinion expand[s], as if you'[ve] read the book several times instead of just once." In that same spirit of expansion, Jenny has invited me to contribute to her biblioblog. I'm excited to have yet another excuse to read, and look forward to adding to the conversation. (So thanks for the invite, Jenny!) There is power in sharing our opinions and reading experiences with each other, so I hope that all who read this blog will join the magic!