Passion For Reading

There was a time in my life when I talked about books as though they were sustenance, as though they were essential to my survival. I devoured stories and inhaled pages. I vividly remember checking out four, five, six books at time and somehow finishing them all before the two weeks were up.

Though that experience is shared with many people, a majority of adults fail to make time for reading.

I often wonder where that passion goes.

To most people, reading is thought of as a chore, or something for the forgotten bottom end of a to-do list. Reading is a fizzling New Year’s Resolution. Reading is a Barnes & Noble credit card but dusty shelves.

When people talk about getting back into reading, it is as though they are starting a new project at work, as though they are radically changing their schedules.

New units of time have to be carved out of a schedule, clearly labeled “READ” in blocky black lettering. Books fill shopping bags, along with all the obviously necessary accessories to reading – fancy bookmarks and clip on lights and slogan-laden tote bags – because now, you are a Reader.

There is something lost in this frenzy. In this sort of Oprah’s Book Club, unbroken-spine kind of reading, books are a status symbol.

I find myself in this rut occasionally. Rearranging and rearranging the same shelves with an obsessiveness, buying War and Peace and Les Miserables because they’re the sort of books a pretentious academic like myself should have.

I miss that feeling that all library-bound children have. That feeling that there were an infinite amount of words in the world, and if I only read fast enough, flipped enough pages, then I would be able to drink them all in.

So many people have a desire to read; to become that excited kid again. We want to be the one who’s not only Heard of That, but Read It. We want to know authors and quotes and have worn paperbacks to pass on to friends and family. We want to feel that love and intensity that stories used to inspire.

I truly believe that feeling is still inside every adult today. Maybe it’s buried under stress and deadlines and distraction, but it’s there.

All we have to do is find the right book.

-Zoe K., 11th grade

Find your right book at the Mission Viejo Library. Titles are also available to download through Overdrive and Hoopla.

Inspire a Passion for Reading

We all love to read. And as a Senior Girl Scout, deciding what to base my Gold Award project on was a no-brainer: reading. The Gold Award is the highest level of achievement in Girl Scouts—the equivalent of reaching Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. For my project, I wanted to take my love of reading and expand the opportunities reading has for children. With the help of my take action team, I created children’s library programs that provided working parents with a free and safe place for their children after-school.

Through my project I was able to share my love of reading with kids from our community. I am so glad that I was able to use my passion to inspire others. I can say on behalf of all the volunteers who participated in my project that teaching children to read was an invaluable experience. Completing my Gold Award has taught me to be a thoughtful leader by listening to the ideas of others on my team. I also learned what it must be like for librarians and teachers to see the joy and understanding on a child’s face. It is truly incredible to be a part of their journey learning to read and experimenting with different genres and ways of reading.

Now that I have completed my project, I definitely recommend teens in our community to create their own ways of encouraging reading. Get creative! Maybe just by writing a blog about how you wish to promote reading, someone will be inspired to do the same. If we all share our experiences and our thoughts on the importance of reading, I am certain that we will have an impact in our community. Interview a teacher or a librarian—they are some of the best examples of how teaching children to read benefits them in the future. Research the facts showing the impact that reading has on the lives of children. Whether or not you choose to take action, I hope that my review of my experience will inspire others to join me encouraging reading. Together we can share our love of books with the people around us. But don’t forget to educate and inspire others to follow your lead!

I encourage you to think about ways you can use your love of reading to benefit others. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, your ideas can inspire and motivate people to take action. Please leave me a comment telling me what ideas you have for spreading the love of reading and some ways you think we can accomplish it together!

-Kelsey H.