Reading with our Hearts

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Sometimes you get ideas that stick with you from unexpected places. The kind of thoughts you find rolling around in your head, coming back to you in the middle of the night, or like when you’re put on hold on the phone, waiting for a customer service person on a Monday morning. That’s the way I felt about Marty’s lines in the newest James Patterson novel, The Christmas Wedding.

Sometimes you get ideas that stick with you from unexpected places. The kind of thoughts you find rolling around in your head, coming back to you in the middle of the night, or like when you’re put on hold on the phone, waiting for a customer service person on a Monday morning. That’s the way I felt about Marty’s lines in the newest James Patterson novel, The Christmas Wedding. (I won’t go into the story right here, other than to say it is one of around 20+ Christmas stories EPLD has added in the last month, by many of our popular authors.)

“And I’ll tell you something: If you are not reading- with your heart as well as your brain- you will be one stupid grown-up. Even worse, you’ll be missing out on one of the best experiences you can possibly have. Nowhere will you meet more interesting people than in books. I’ve met a lot of people, I’ve read a lot of books and that’s the absolute truth.”

I found myself rolling these lines through my brain as I walked this morning…the need to keep reading with my heart and mind. It doesn’t really matter (and Marty actually goes on to say something very similar in the next few paragraphs), what the book format is, be it an e-copy online, an audiobook, or reading a physical book, we grow through being drawn into the books we are reading.  Obviously with many books we gain factual knowledge, but what I am referring to here is more about the emotions and empathy that happens when we connect and begin to see a situation through the eyes an author has provided. We leave better than we started, and I like that thought.

We hear it all the time as books are returned here at EPLD. “Have you read this? I hated for this book to end!” or “I couldn’t believe how involved I was in this story, I stayed up for hours to finish it.” Or one of our all-time favorites, “I am returning this book for a friend, it’s checked out to her and she said I had to read it as soon as she was finished.”  What we know when we hear these comments is that we provided an experience for one of our library patrons that they enjoyed, and that experience has made a difference for them as a person. At EPLD we like knowing we are making a difference for our community in a variety of ways.