Bookish Blessings

Counting My Bookish Blessings (1)

Blessings are all around me, every day. I have stopped at 25 that are related to reading and books.  Even as I typed the last one on this list, I thought of two or three more.  But to start:

Endless choices to fill my “to read” list.

Several comfortable locations to read in my home.

My hometown library, the staff and the services it provides.

The “book box” at the mall near to my home, as an alternative place to pick up and drop off books.

Our library system and its staff, who are always looking for new ways to serve their customers.

A “bookish career” in the library that has led me to a perfect retirement, with plenty of time to read, write, and connect with books and authors.

Independent and local bookstores who lend a personal touch and pleasure to the reading and shopping experience and who promote and nurture local and regional authors.

Enough money to purchase an occasional book for myself.

The option to use Amazon and other online sellers for specific needs.

The freedom and convenience of my electronic reader.

The pleasure and comfort of traditionally published books.

My grandchildren and other youngsters for whom I can buy and recommend books.

“Bookish” friends who understand me.

Book discussion groups for talking about and sharing our favorites.

Audiobooks, especially those provided free by the library.

Magazines and other periodicals, also made available online by the library.

Booklists, reviews and recommendations to help guide me.

Goodreads and other online services that bring readers together.

Book bloggers who write about their own reading preferences and the bookish life.

Opportunities, through libraries and bookstores, to meet and hear authors speak about their work.

The National and Oklahoma Centers for the Book and other state centers whose mission is to promote books and reading.

The Friends of the Library, who sponsor programs and special events for all ages, all-year long.

The many poets and authors and illustrators who have brought me so much reading pleasure.

Legislators who understand how important reading and books are to our nation.

All of those who nurtured my love of books and reading when I was growing up.


How about you?  What bookish blessings would you add? I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my “Marginalia” newsletter (click here). You’ll receive it by email and see what I’ve been reading, other bookish news and information, and progress reports on my own writing.



Summer Fun at the Library


Summer Reading Programs — Still Going Strong!

For many of my working years, summer was the busiest season, with preparations beginning months ahead.  As a librarian for the Pioneer Library System, I understood that the months when school wasn’t in session were a wonderful time to bring children into the library and nourish the “reading seed” that would be so important to their success in school and in life.

We knew and appreciated all of the hard work that school teachers did during the other nine months, but we also knew that some of what was gained in reading skills would be lost if the vacation months were spent without books and reading.

So it was our task to plan a summer reading program with activities that would draw children into the library and would result in the children checking books out to take home. We were supported by materials and planning assistance by the state department of libraries and and supplemented their resources with local and state financial contributions, sponsorships and volunteers.

Those plans often included driving to other locations where there were children who couldn’t get to libraries, such as very rural towns in our service area, or taking the programs to places where children congregate, such as swimming pools or community centers.


And we succeeded! The libraries were overflowing with children during those months. (Some older and more sedate customers spread the word about the best times for their own library visits.) We challenged ourselves to entertain the children while we expanded their curiosity and helped develop their minds.

We met other challenges too, of the “if something can go wrong, it will” variety. (One of my most vivid memories includes several thousand “dormant” ladybugs waking up early and escaping the film containers that we had packed them in to give to the children.)

We also managed long lines of children with books to be checked out before and after the programs, plus the occasional child who needed to go to restroom during the activity.  It was always a team effort and everybody pitched in to make things go smoothly.

It’s still happening in libraries across the country and today, I would like to congratulate my fellow librarians who are in the middle of their summer reading programs. It will soon be over for another year, but you will have the opportunity to do it again next summer. (I know that you’ll need a little breather before you begin thinking about that!) Then when you are retired, as I am, you can look back and remember all that you did, all the fun you had doing it, and how important it was for the children of your community. Hooray for summer reading at the library and those who make it possible!