“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!