Fiery Advocates

“The world needs books! What would the world be like without books? They fuel our mind like cars and gas! The cars can’t go without gas. Our brains can’t go without books. The world needs books. We. Need. Books. It would break my heart if one book was lost. If just a page, just a word, just a letter was gone. I would be heartbroken. What would the world do without books? It would be empty. Like a bucket without water. Like a brain without knowledge. Like a file cabinet without papers. We need books. The world would be black and white without books. The world would be blank without books. A long time ago, it was blank, until books came to the world. And everything was opened up. Colors came. Inventors were born. Inventions were made. The world was a better place. And that all started with books.”

This fantastic monologue was delivered by an 8-year-old dynamo named Madison when a reporter from Cleveland’s WKYC asked her what she thought of her neighborhood’s Little Free Library program. Madison’s joyous ode to books was broadcast online by Vox, which added: “And that’s not even the whole interview. This kid’s love for reading knows no bounds. She should have all the books she wants, any time she wants them. And we should figure out how to make sure no books are ever lost, so her heart doesn’t break. Little Free Library puts small structures designed for lending and borrowing books in communities that don’t have full libraries. And it may have just found its spokesperson.”

When I read Madison’s words, my heart lifted. She reminded me of how exciting it is to be a kid just starting out in the world when you have books and stories to light your way and all the glorious, marvelous wonders you can discover by reading.

So often, when we are in the throes of writing, we focus on the mechanics and somehow forget the mystery. We get caught up in our stories and forget to stand outside them and make sure that we and our readers are taking an enjoyable, enlivening journey together.

How wonderful to be an excited, lively, curious, bright, adorable, enthusiastic booklover like Madison! To see the world with fresh eyes and bring back news of its enchantments. What a gift that would be! And it’s ours for the giving, because I believe we all have that spark of excitement inside us, just waiting to be fanned into a flame.

So let’s “freelax” as my son Alex used to say when he was small. Let’s just be grateful and excited like Madison that there are words and books in the world and that we, too, are their proud and fiery advocates. And then, let’s write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to Fiery Advocates

  1. Toby Stein says:

    The little girl’s passion is lovely, but it should remind us that there are many children who grow up without access to books. In two senses. They may not have a Little Library to feed their desire for reading. Or they may grow up in a home where reading is not an adult activity. Mothers who work two or three jobs don’t have time to read more, perhaps, then the microwave instructions on a frozen meal. So much of life depends on having time that isn’t used up by the demands of basic survival. I wish I knew of a quick solution. But the only one I know is to make ourselves soldiers in the fight for reading TIME. And when that occurs, it will probably take the desire of a child like the one whose enthusiasm you extol to get the parent to read instead of taking a welcome nap or spending her reading time leafing through the fantasy pages of “People” magazine. I am so fierce about this because i grew up in a lower middle-class home where my mother read–to me, with me, for herself too. It made me love books as much as I loved her.

    • Hi Toby,

      Bravo — beautifully said! Your wonderful comment illuminates one of the biggest and saddest challenges we face: Here we are in one of the most prosperous countries on earth and some kids don’t have a book to call their own! My mother worked full-time as a legal secretary when we were growing up, but somehow, she always managed to find time to read to us. I can still hear her voice and see her reading from “When We Were Six,” which my little sister Judy absolutely adored and wanted to have read to her again and again.

      Still, there is hope: There are shining lights like Madison, who will find a way to read and people who will help her. And there are nonprofits like First Book and the Little Library Program and others that are created to help put books into the hands of kids.

      What’s more important? There’s so much research out there confirming that kids who are read to and are exposed to books in their early years are more likely to thrive in school and in life.

      Your note has given me and idea. I think I’ll put together a post about some of the groups I know of that focus on books and reading for young kids.

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom and fiery advocacy!

      Write on, Karin

      Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 13:37:43 +0000 To: kmja_w@hotmail.com

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