I read because…

This is like describing why I breathe. I breathe because my lungs inhale and exhale air. There is no high-minded purpose.

I read because my brain inhales and exhales stories.

When I was six I fell behind in reading class. That Summer, the teacher sent me home with a book to improve my skills. I loved that book and never had a problem reading again.

In third grade I read A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle. It was the first book that gave me a hallucinogenic feeling of being in another world. It was also the first book I had to come down from and learn to reorient myself back to my life.

I continuously inhale air without thinking about it. But sometimes I inhale special air, like in the rainy spring after a long winter, or at a lake in Maine, or on a crisp, cool mountaintop.

It is the same with books. I’ve read continuously since I was six. Most books I read are good, and then sometimes I read a special book.

The truth is, I’m always looking for the special book, but find them only by surprise. I never know which book at the library will be the One.

Here are some of my special books:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Mandy by Julie Edwards

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck

Pigs Have Wings by P. G. Wodehouse

I have a love story with each of these books. I can tell you where I met them, and what it was like when we were together. These books weren’t “just friends” like the other books I’ve read. They came to me in the right time and place to transport me to the realm of “in love”.

I read because these books exist, and because I know there are more out there.

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