I love reading.  If there is one activity that I can do the whole day, it would be reading.  I read anything and everything.  I learn so much from reading a variety of reading materials.  Nowadays, I usually spend about 30 min reading the newspaper, 1 hour reading blogs on cooking or the environment, 1 hour reading a book, usually suspense or mystery and 1 hour reading online articles to be used in my online classes.  Any idle time, waiting for doctors or appointments, I read some magazines like reader’s digest.  Of course I also browse cook books when I’m deciding what to cook or bake.

I’m lucky that I grew up with a bookworm for a mother.  Our walls have shelves filled with books.  I haven’t even  finished reading all her books yet.  Growing up, we always borrowed from the school library and spent all our leisure time reading.  I think we’re the only kids whose mom would tell us, “Why don’t you stop reading and watch TV instead?”  We were such geeks.  Growing up, I usually read short novels but as a young adult, I learned to appreciate inspirational and self-improvement books.  Now, I even appreciate historical books and biographies.

Now that I have my own family, we have our own collection of books.  Most of the books we buy are reference books.  We have lots of books on Geography, Physics, Design and of course, cook books.  I seldom buy fiction except children’s books.  I’m lucky to have access to fiction books, I can always borrow from my mom or from friends so I don’t feel the need to buy fiction books.

But that’s me.  What about other people who are not so lucky?  I often read about drives to bring books to schools, to build libraries for children and to get children reading.  This is very admirable and definitely needed.  However, that leaves out the adults.  Don’t they need to read too?  I am envious of other countries who have public libraries and residents don’t have to purchase the books they want to read for pleasure.  Even tourists can borrow from their libraries.  How come we don’t have the same system?  I know that given all the problems in our country, this is minor but I think it’s important too.

Who knows, maybe more people would read if they have something to read.  Not everyone can afford to buy books.  I’m sure they’d rather spend their hard-earned money on necessities.  But we should also feed their minds.  Maybe they wouldn’t have to continue watching inane shows on TV if they had a book to read instead.  Maybe they’d decide to change the course of their lives if they read inspiring stories of other people.  Reading should be for everyone and all should be encouraged to read, not just students.  Reading fosters lifelong learning.  And that’s what we all are.  We are all learners in this lesson called life.