Solace and Joy
I know the power of books. They can change your life.
Oft times I look out over my library and smile. This is my job. I get to go to work and read, and talk about reading, and convince others to read. And they pay me. Not much, but still. They.Pay.Me! This is not the life I imagined for myself. But it is the life necessary to be me. You see, I’m a member of the nerdy book club because I was born that way. I grew up in small apartment, one of 15 children. That’s right; 15. Now, don’t freak, we weren’t always in the house together. But there were always too many people, too much noise, too little room. I could not wait to leave. But, people didn’t leave my neighborhood. Unless they left in the back of a squad car. Or an ambulance. We lived on the south side of Chicago, in the ghetto. A place that no longer exists. That’s how bad it was. The thing that saved my life, that helped me get out, that made me who am I am today, was a book. Books kept me out of trouble, mostly. Off the street. Books showed me that a better life existed, and I could have it. I owe it to the book and the bookmobile.
Now, really it wasn’t just one book. There were many. I read everything I could get my hands on: Barbara Cartland, Harlequin Romances, Nancy Drew, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne, CS Lewis. The list is long and varied. Books are where I went to get away from my life. The yelling, the screaming, the hunger, the cold, the crowding. When I was reading, I was gone. I was living in the book. I was barely aware of the world around me. At least for a few hours. I found a solace and a joy in books.
Now, look at me. I’m in the perfect postion. I get to give back what was given to me. And they pay me for it. I don’t know how I ended up here. But I know it’s where I should be. A proud, loud, card-carrying shirt wearing, mug drinking member, of the nerdy book club. Life is sweet. Books made it so.
Kathy Burnette– Mom, Reader, Middle School Librarian.
What a testimony to the power of books. Thank you for sharing your story. BTW… I have no idea how I wasn’t following you on twitter, but I am now. Also added your blog to my Google Reader.
Love your blog post and the power of books. Something we should all remember. My class and I have watched an interview with Gary Paulsen where he discusses how books, libraries, and a librarian saved him. They are all more powerful that people, and politicians, realize. Thanks for writing this.
Incredibly moving post about the power of books. Thank you very much for sharing.
A realistic depiction of how books can save us! I also get lost in my own world when reading a book and couldn’t imagine my life without them! 🙂
Yay, Kathy! I loved your post–I could see you as I read it with your books!
I thank all of you for your support. I am the all time luckiest person around. I belong to THE BEST community ever. Thanks for making me feel appreciated!
Kathy, your post made me cry! The power of words…of books…and of librarians. Thank you so much for sharing your story!