Books and the Good Life – Part 1

I finally finished my paper!  I haven’t turned it in yet, but it is done so I will now begin sharing it with you.  It’s kind of long (20 pages) so I will post a new section each day.  Today, you get some of the introduction.  I sort of have 3 intros and the first 2 are below.  I hope you all enjoy reading this and feel free to leave your thoughts.  The paper may be done, but I’m not tired of the subject yet.  And without further ado, part 1:

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.

~Mortimer J. Adler~

What makes a good life?  Isn’t that the question we are all trying to answer?  For me, the answer is obvious: books.  Thomas Jefferson once said, “I cannot live without books.”  Like Jefferson, I consider a life without reading one that is not worth living.  I may be able to give up some of the other things that we discussed in class, but I could never give up reading.  Consequently, that is what I have decided to make the subject of this paper.  It is a tribute to the first love of my life.  It is partly a collection of random thoughts on the subject, but my hope is that it conveys a general sense of why books are part of the good life and why we should be encouraging reading.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.
~ Emilie Buchwald ~

Reading has never been easy for my dad.  When I was four years old, my father decided to tackle his reading problems by taking some literacy classes at the local community college.  He worked extremely hard on his assignments, always sharing them with me.  As a result, I learned how to read.  Even though my dad may not be the best reader in the world, it is he I credit with first teaching me this thing I have come to love.  He would read to me all the time.  When I was able to, I began reading to him instead.  The weekly trips to the town library (just a house full of books, really) were the highlight of my week.  I was allowed to take out four new books every week and I regularly finished them in just a few days.  I couldn’t be stopped.  I was the girl who would walk around carrying a book when out shopping with my mom or read in the car even when it made me ill.  When I started second grade, I was already reading at a sixth grade reading level.  I devoured books.  And I have never stopped.

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