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What I’m reading this week

November 17, 2013
Sovereign Stories came in the mail this week.

Sovereign Stories came in the mail this week.

Recently I made a decision, well, a plan to read three new books a week.  I can’t tell you how much better I feel about myself.  I’ve made a pact to devote time to reading for pleasure, something I usually don’t do during the academic year because of all the class readings, student papers, committee work, and manuscripts  and of course, tenure review papers.  (You get the idea.)  So, I’ve put a plan in place. Read a couple of books of poems, and a novel, and/or a scholarly book each week.  But the number is 3.   In some ways, I think I’m returning to a pattern in my life when I was very little and living in Bethany, Oklahoma.  The Bookmobile would come to our street and the neighborhood kids, myself included, would pick out a couple of books to read.  Funny how memory plays tricks, perhaps it was only one book, regardless, I had a Bookmobile card that  I’d filled out myself.  Each of us would run to the big van, greet the driver and decide on a book we hadn’t read.  It was quite thrilling.  Only two events happened in our poor neighborhood in Bethany that were worth screaming for: the day the Bookmobile would arrive, and (in summer) the day the Ice Cream man in his red and green truck stopped on our street.  “Back in the old days,” there was no such thing as going to the library, or running to a Brown Derby for a dip cone, even though it was only 5 cents.  Life for a one-car family living on the edge of poverty, (less than $2100.00 a year) meant no frills, no books, no joy rides that burned gasoline. We were a family that had to rely on my grandmother’s stories on Saturday nights for adventure thrills.  (More on that later.)

The history of bookmobiles begins sometime in the mid-nineteenth century in Great Britain.  By 1904 in the US, the People’s Free Library of Chester County, South Carolina starts carrying wooden boxes of books to rural areas.  The concept continues today and Bookmobiles are still in use worldwide.  Check out the Association of Bookmobile Services and Outreach at: http://abos-outreach.org/  

Like so many children all over the world my lifeline to reading was the Bookmobile.  Recently, I was asked in an interview when I knew I wanted to become a writer.  I said by the age of six or seven because I began writing dinosaur stories.  After thinking about it, I realized  it was because early in my life I was exposed to reading books, and of course hearing my grandmother’s stories.   But what if the Bookmobile had missed our street?  Would I be the writer I am today.  Probably not.  Thank you Bookmobile, you fostered a desire in me to write, and to read.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere are my choices of the week!  Sovereign Stories by Padraig Kirwan, Lovely Asunder by Danielle Cadena Deulen, and On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year by Lee Ann Roripaugh!  YAH.

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