I Love Books, originally uploaded by Weeping-Willow.

“What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is the collection of books.” — Thomas Carlyle

my name is s.
and i am a bookworm.

my wild imagination and insatiable thirst for knowledge has always fueled my love for reading. in and out of the classroom, i was – and still am – always toting around a book {or new yorker} for those expected and random moments where i can escape from the real and savor in the imaginary. i get giddy as i wander aimlessly through my favorite bookshops. getting lost in these shops and discovering new stories to experience — it’s one of my most favorite things of all time….my great escape….my cure-all.

and i noticed, as i was starting my post-college life, the bookstores were a little less full. and for a while, they were a lot more empty. but the paparazzi fueled celeb gossips mags were breeding on the newsstands and blogs were quickly becoming “the new news.”

and while i dabbled in the us weeklies and the popsugar’s of the world, i remained a good ol‘ fashioned bookworm.

but it looks like i may not be the minority anymore….

according to a recent ny times article, after a 16 year decline in literary reading rates among u.s adults, americans are rekindling their romance with fiction.

“There has been a measurable cultural change in society’s commitment to literary reading,” said Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “In a cultural moment when we are hearing nothing but bad news, we have reassuring evidence that the dumbing down of our culture is not inevitable.”

Under Mr. Gioia’s leadership the endowment spearheaded “The Big Read,” a program in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest to encourage communities to champion the reading of particular books, like “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston. The report is being released just over a week before Mr. Gioia steps down after six years as the endowment’s chairman.


…..he attributed the increase in literary reading to community-based programs like the “Big Read,” Oprah Winfrey’s book club, the huge popularity of book series like “Harry Potter” and Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight,” as well as the individual efforts of teachers, librarians, parents and civic leaders to create “a buzz around literature that’s getting people to read more in whatever medium.”

— “Fiction reading Increases for Adults”

Published: January 11, 2009

woo hoo….welcome bookworms!

from one worm to another, here are a few bits and tips to make your return to reading a little less daunting and little more fun:

sb book bits & tips:

+ make it personal: while the bookstores have their aisles devoted to “staff picks,” “most popular fiction,” “new arrivals” novel galleries, these books also are the stores’ biggest investments. and may not be your idea of a page turner. so instead, lean on your pals and fam for a list of their recent reads. and if oprah is one of your pals – lean on her too.

+ best of’s: there are a few lists out there that celebrate the most brilliant or popular works of recent history. the “1001 books you must read…” & “the top ten” are bookmarked on my laptop and frequently visited.

+ test drive: ahhh google. the web behemoth has a snazzy “google books” search option where you can look up and read a few pages from the novel. if you like, you buy. if you don’t….well, then that saves you a trip back to the bookstore.

+ carry all: stashing your current read in your bag or car makes the waiting game a little more bearable. or for me, the bus ride a heck of a lot shorter. instead of being irked at your perpetually-late pal, escape to a fantastic moment in your trusty book.

and maybe, just maybe, with a few more bookworms around……our world will be a rosier place.

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened….after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstacy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. “
— Ernest Hemingway
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friends, your sweet thoughts and inspiring comments are the bright spot of my day. please make the jump, hang out and share what’s on your mind. 🙂

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