I love this story about more than 200 volunteers forming a human chain to help a book store move locations in Southampton last month. Community spirit chokes me up anyway, but picturing each beloved book passed hand to hand to hand makes me want to bawl in the best way.
Kristen dared us to find a cool spot and read this month. That’s a little like daring me to breathe or eat cookies, so I was excited. Success was in the bag.
She also issued an “extra credit” dare to re-read something we read when we were younger. This excited me even more–she probably doesn’t know it, but I was voted Most Likely to Do Extra Credit in high school. (Yes, really. I like to hope that I’ve mellowed a bit since then, but I’m going to do the extra credit even if I already have an A-plus and you can’t stop me.) As it happened, by August 1 I was on vacation with my family and had at least five books in my backpack, two of which I had requested from the library because I’d read them as a kid and wanted to reread them. I gleefully spent a few minutes each night revisiting a world that had enchanted me as a seventh grader.
But then we came home from vacation. We came back to reality, to piles and piles of laundry, to grocery schlepping and meal planning and back-to-school shopping. Suddenly it was hard to keep my eyes open for a few stolen minutes of reading each day, even in the middle of the afternoon. I’d get through a sentence just fine, the next would blur a bit as my head bobbed, and before I knew it I’d be mumbling “hunh” to a kid’s question, which they’d take as a “yes” and run off to do I’m-not-sure-what with what they presumed was my permission.
In other words, this dare is just what I need to force me to carve out purposeful time to read. The end of summer will get hectic—it always does. My youngest two don’t start school until after Labor Day, so they’ll be wanting to pack in fun activities while they still can. This will take some planning, and will probably require the use of an earlier wake-up alarm for some quiet time. But I am eagerly anticipating returning to the pages that initially captivated a much-younger me.
The Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time–John 6:1-15
Each month, we extend a challenge aimed at teaching us something about ourselves, our community, our faith, or maybe just to amuse us!
I challenge you to step away from screens (AFTER YOU READ OUR BLOG!), pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea, get comfy in a beach chair at the edge of the water or maybe under some trees, and read a book or two or more!
I further challenge you to go to your local library to find that book or two or more. Libraries are the most magical places on earth! There are books about EVERYTHING, magazines about ANYTHING, and newspapers from EVERYWHERE. There are film dvds and music cds and audio books. There are art exhibits and special events. The library is where you can find ALL THE ANSWERS. If you haven’t been to one in a while, GO, and be astounded.
And for you super competitive types, I double dog dare you to spend the dog days of August RE-reading a book or two or more that you read when you were younger. Notice what is different for you this time around. Maybe you will discover new levels to the story. Maybe you will find that you have outgrown the tale. You won’t know until you pick up the book and read it again!