With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are no doubt finding ourselves thinking about the things we are grateful for. As a librarian, writer, and proud bibliophile, not a day goes by where I am not engaging with literature in some way, and this part of my life has become so ingrained that I sometimes forget to slow down and consider my gratitude for books. In the name of thankfulness, here are several of the reasons why I am grateful for the gift of literature.
- Connection – Reading is far from a solitary practice. Books afford us ample opportunities for connection with others through sharing and those we loved (or didn’t) and discussing the stories they told, the lessons they taught, and the emotions they wrought. If you are a parent or caregiver, reading aloud with your kiddos can create an extremely powerful moment of connection and learning that extends beyond the story on the page.
- Escape – Books offer the ultimate escapism. Stepping into someone else’s shoes, entering into a different world, or imagining a reality entirely unlike our own is therapeutic and, at times, necessary. Sometimes stretching our imagination to paint a story in your mind is the perfect way to cleanse your soul.
- Learning and Empathy – It is the aforementioned act of stepping into another’s shoes, whether through a character or the story of a real person, that invokes us to feel empathy that we then carry into interactions with others in our daily lives. By learning about the experiences of other people through the vivid nature of a book, we are better able to connect with people who are different from us.
- Dependability – When I was young, my mom always told me to bring a book with me everywhere I go, because you never know when you might get bored. I stick by this advice to this day. Books are a dependable source of entertainment that don’t require an outlet or an internet connection and can be chipped away at a few minutes at a time or devoured in a single sitting. Furthermore, when you finish one book, there will always be another book to read.
- Books are always more than just books – Books don’t stay on the page or bound between their covers. They transform readers. They forge relationships. They help us know ourselves and each other better. They prevail through time and reach around the world. They bring magic to life and entertain all possibilities. They inspire expression and activism. Without books, our Library, which itself is much more than just books, would not be possible.
The Lewistown Public Library wishes you a happy Thanksgiving holiday. We are grateful for our patrons and the support of our Lewistown community.