I love books. I just love books. Apparently it is genetic, since my mother also adores books.
The first book I can remember reading that I loved was How To Be A Grouch by Oscar The Grouch. I honestly tried sleeping with my head on the floor one night. For all of 20 minutes.
Adolescence brought Are You There God, Its Me Margaret. A classic for all young women in their coming-of-age phase. And then Deenie. Harriet the Spy was awesome (I never saw the movie - I didn't want to ruin it for myself). Or the Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals that I used to search endlessly for volcanic rock in my backyard. In Indiana. (i.e. NOT near a volcano.) A Wrinkle in Time stirred the scientist in me.
As an adult, I read voraciously. I tend to read fast, and skip parts that I find boring, so I can get the gist of a book in short time. Whenever I've had a problem, I've checked out a stack of books from the library. When I ran into a challenge in a leadership position, I read. When I interviewed for other academic leadership positions, I read. When I found out I was pregnant (and therefore stopped interviewing!) I read. When I had a baby, I read. When she became a one-year-old who wouldn't sleep or eat, I read.
I have always had bookshelves full of books. When I move, I manage to cull a few boxes of books I can part with. I try to take them to used bookstores to sell. During one move, I I thought my dad had stowed the "get rid of" books in my moms car - instead he had thrown them in the dumpster, and I couldn't get in to retrieve them. I have sortof never forgiven him for that.
If you have a child, read to them. Every day. Even if they are tiny. Honestly, even if they aren't even here yet. Read. Read again. Read more. The research shows that it is exposure to books in the home that helps teach reading.
BlogHer is giving away books to children who don't have them. Go here and comment. Comment again. Books will be given. Your heart will be warmed. Someday one of those children will post on the internet about books that changed his/her life. Maybe it came from you. (Wouldn't that be awesome?)