Since “official” retirement in 2013, what has surprised me is how much I read again. It’s a throwback to growing up in Greene County in the 1960’s glued to the Bobbsey Twins’ escapades, and later, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries.
While working fulltime, I only read books on vacation, preferably on a beach with a cozy mystery. Now I love to read any time, during winter months while lying on the sofa with hot tea in reach, or if the weather is warm, in the patio’s wicker settee with lemon water close by.
According to the Daily Journal’s Free Time weekly listing, book clubs in Johnson County seem to be thriving. Whether we’re reading to escape or to be informed, we’re reading.
Even more surprising in this culture of electronic-everything, our nation still enjoys the printed page. In 2018, 695 million printed books were sold, the highest amount since 2010 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/422595/print-book-sales-usa/). However, I confess to reading some library books on my Kindle app because they’re quick and easy to download.
My book club, Heartland Christian Readers, started and hosted by Becky Horton, is beginning its fifth year. And I LOVE it! I especially enjoy our lively monthly discussions. Even though the eight of us live in this area, our perspectives often differ, making our time together intellectually stimulating and insightful.
We’ve covered monthly nonfiction topics about mental illness, human trafficking, and an array of famous people’s biographies. Since the first of the year, we’ve read USS Indianapolis, Angela’s Ashes, and Upstairs at the White House. I love how books are like time travel, putting us on a sinking naval cruiser during war, or in famine-starved Ireland, or in the White House during the FDR years through the Nixon administration.
As we used to tell our kids, readers are leaders.
Friends, read often!