I have a great affinity for reading that began in my childhood. I have fond memories of heading “downtown” by myself to the public library that was on the second floor of the City Building that housed all of city government, the U.S. Post office, the police department, and the jail. Did I say that I grew up in a small town? I can still remember the library well with all the smells of books just waiting for me to consume as I found characters, stories, and other worlds in which to escape into my imagination.
The Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and pretty much everything written by Beverly Cleary piqued my interest. Even though the library in my hometown has long moved from City Hall, I can vividly remember where my favorite series and books were shelved. I felt that I had an entire section of the library organized just for me!
With the recent passing of Beverly Cleary (104 years of age), my yearning to head to the Bicknell library and sit among my childhood fictional friends is strong. Please, if you have any influence on any child, encourage reading by providing access to books and modeling yourself. Talk about what you read and share in the excitement that is written on the pages of some of your favorite books. Also, Beverly Cleary’s birthday is April 12, which is not a coincidence the same day as D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything and Read Day). For me, I’ll find 30 minutes to escape beneath the grandfather clock at Mountain View Inn where I’ll visit with Ralph S. Mouse and join him on one of his amazing adventures!