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For most of my life books have been a big part of my every day habits. Reading or being read to as a child was always a part of my home. As a young reader, we had shelves of books in a walk in closet my brother and I could choose from any time we liked. In school, the library had a plethora of books available to explore and regular contests (yes, I’m a bit competitive) to keep us motivated to stick our noses inside as many books as possible. I remember the personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut, around since at least the 70s, you could earn by reading as well as the read-a-thon fundraisers our school held to raise money.
That Pizza Hut program, known as Book It, is still around. I had no idea until writing this. Sometimes the world we live in today seems so different than the experiences of my youth but I guess the free personal pan one-topping pizza is one that’s stuck. And those read-a-thons…well my biggest memory was working hard to get donations – an amount for each book you read. I remember getting a donation from a friend’s mom but I soon found out she didn’t understand what kind of a reader I was. She owed a lot of money (at least to her and I) and she was not about to pay. It was a tough lesson in commitment and understanding but it definitely didn’t put a damper on my reading.
Throughout the years my level of reading has ebbed and flowed. There was a time where I realized I was getting so engrossed in a book that nothing else in my life mattered and I didn’t feel that was a positive so I stopped reading books for fun. I started focusing on books that were about self-help or business to justify my time because…well you can’t just read for fun when you are an adult with adult responsibilities, right?
The past two years I’ve started reading for fun again and have managed to do so without it consuming my life. I read 47 books in 2021 (my goal was 40) and, so far, I’ve read 24 of the 52 book goal I set for 2022. My current read is Little Comfort by Edwin Hill (I was hooked in the first paragraph and you will likely be too if you love a good mystery full of plot twists).
I love the rich stories that take me to other times and other places and I feel like it’s added so much value that I don’t see myself ever giving up the “reading for fun” lifestyle. But this brings me to another topic…the topic of banned books. I will never understand the banning of books. If you have a problem with a book, don’t read it. If you believe in the banning of books, fine but your problem does not need to be my problem.
And I won’t let it be.
So I’m going to read banned books. I’m going to share about them in conversations. I’m going to enjoy them.
I found this list over on bookriot.com of Top 100 Banned Books and this list on ala.org of the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books of the decade from 2010-2019. I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me. Maybe you’ll join me? Let’s see what all the fuss is about. See you on the dog-eared page.